Blatter: 'Platini intimidated my family'

UEFA president Michel Platini has allegedly intimidated the family of FIFA president Sepp Blatter. By doing this, the Frenchman tried to force the 79 year old Blatter to step down as the president of world football's governing body FIFA. Blatter reveals this in an interview with De Volkskrant.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter listens during a press conference at the football's world body headquarter's on July 20, 2015 in Zurich. FIFA said today that a special election will be held on February 26 to replace president Sepp Blatter. Beeld ANP
FIFA president Sepp Blatter listens during a press conference at the football's world body headquarter's on July 20, 2015 in Zurich. FIFA said today that a special election will be held on February 26 to replace president Sepp Blatter.Beeld ANP

According to Blatter, Platini had a talk with his 80-year-old brother Peter during FIFA's last presidential election congress on 29 May. Blatter: 'He said: tell Sepp to withdraw from the election or he will go to prison.' Blatter's brother then burst into tears, according to a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Two days before the elections took place, the American authorities had seven highly-ranked FIFA officials arrested in a Zurich-based hotel. Despite the storm that broke loose, Blatter celebrated his fourth re-election as the president of world football's governing body. He defeated his only challenger, the Jordanian prince Ali Bin al-Hussein, who had full support of Platini and UEFA.

Interview
Read the full interview with Sepp Blatter here.

Spurious story

Blatter has not spoken to Platini about the incident. 'You will have to ask him about his character. I don't know what goes on in his head', he says.

Michel Platini doesn't want to comment. A source close to him rejects the accusations: 'This spurious story is the latest in a series of attempts from Zurich to distract the world from the real problems that FIFA faces. The UEFA president will not dignify these ridiculous allegations with a reply. Michel Platini is currently more concerned with preparing - along with many national associations who are supporting him - a programme which can restore FIFA's image and reputation, and most importantly develop football around the globe.'

Platini seems to be the main contender in FIFA's upcoming presidential election race. Sepp Blatter's successor will be chosen next year on the 26th of February.

Investigation

Four days after he got re-elected as the president of FIFA, Blatter surprisingly announced that he put his mandate at disposal. He denies that this decision was influenced by the supposed intimidation attempt by Platini. Blatter made his move to protect his family and the FIFA against 'the attacks'.
In his last six months at FIFA Blatter tries to limit his travelling as much as possible because of the ongoing investigation by the American authorities. 'No warrant for my arrest has been issued. I am not under investigation. I have not been asked to testify. None of these things. However, the system works in such a way that one may be interrogated when visiting a country where America has influence. Only a few weeks ago, the Americans arrested a Swiss banker in Italy. 24 hours later he was in Miami. So I'm not going anywhere.'

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