Scandal-hit Blatter named ‘Swiss of the Year’

Friday, 18 December 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter arrives at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich


ZURICH: Suspended world football chief Sepp Blatter was named “Swiss of the Year” on Thursday by a weekly magazine in his native Switzerland, on the same day he appeared before a FIFA ethics committee to face questioning in a corruption scandal.

Blatter is under investigation in Switzerland on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation of funds at FIFA, the global football body which is also at the centre of a huge FBI corruption probe. He denies any wrongdoing.

“Sepp Blatter has deserved the title of ‘Swiss of the Year’ for years. We’re now informally bestowing it late,” right-wing magazine Die Weltwoche wrote.

The often contrarian publication said its publisher, Roger Koeppel of the far-right Swiss People’s Party (SVP), was one of Blatter’s few public defenders. It said Blatter, who has led FIFA since 1998, had never won due recognition in his home country for his work to promote the growth of football around the world.

Blatter, featured on the cover, told the magazine: “I’m a grounded person. I don’t have a Ferrari; I just co-own a pedalo on Lake Zurich.”

As for FIFA: “I can say without any false modesty: it’s a little bit my FIFA, which I built in all those years,” the 79-year-old said. (Reuters)