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Suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter wants 'dignified' exit

Sepp Blatter says he is determined to make a "dignified departure" from the FIFA presidency to honour his late father.

Blatter, who intends to leave his role after February's presidential election, is currently serving a provisional 90-day suspension that was issued by FIFA's ethics committee earlier this month in the wake of a Swiss criminal investigation.

Blatter, along with UEFA president Michel Platini, is not permitted to take part in any football-related activity until the ban expires, which includes media interviews on the subject.

However, while Platini appears to be making efforts not to contravene the rules of his suspension, Blatter told Schweiz am Sonntag: "I am suspended from holding office, but you can't be suspended as a private person."

Sepp Blatter has reportedly received the support of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The newspaper said the 79-year-old has received letters of support from heads of state, including Russia's Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping, as he awaits a verdict from FIFA's adjudicatory chamber.

He stressed that, having started work at FIFA in the 1970s and served as its president since 1998, he does not plan to leave world football's governing body via the backdoor.

"I want a dignified departure after 41 years," Blatter said. "Otherwise, I would fear visiting my father's grave. What do you believe will happen when I tell him that I give up? He'd step out of his grave."

Blatter has more recently been implicated in the allegations over the 2006 World Cup, with Der Spiegel having reported that Germany paid €6.7 million to secure the votes of four FIFA Executive Committee members to host the tournament.

German football federation (DFB) president Wolfgang Niersbach, who has denied that organising committee paid for votes, claimed FIFA requested the €6.7m to release a €170m grant necessary for the hosting of the tournament.

It has been suggested that Blatter asked Franz Beckenbauer, who was the head of the organising committee, for the funds but FIFA said in an earlier statement that requesting such a payment "in no way corresponds" to its "standard processes and regulations."

Blatter has now said: "I have never asked Franz Beckenbauer for money. Jamais de la vie. Never ever. I also did not ask the German FA for money. That's just not true."

He repeated advice his father had given him, saying: "Don't take any money that you have not earned and never try to achieve your goals with money."


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