Paris: Suspended Sepp Blatter admitted his sadness at the nature of his departure from his job as FIFA president during a French radio interview yesterday, saying he has been left defenceless.
"The departure that is being prepared for me is so sad. There are situations against which one has no way of defending oneself, and all of a sudden, you are left with no friends," Blatter told radio station RMC as he defended his achievements at the head of world football's governing body since 1998 and in two decades with the organisation before that.
"In the last 40 years at FIFA we have developed football. It has never been as good as it is now. You only need to cast a glance at the Champions League to see the quality of the football," he said.
Blatter, who was handed an eight-year ban from all footballing activities along with UEFA president Michel Platini for ethics violations, had an appeal against his punishment heard earlier this week.
The pair were found to have abused their positions over a mysterious 2 million Swiss franc ($2 million, 1.8 million euros) payment made in 2011. A decision on the appeal is expected next week.