• Switzerland's news in English
Gianni Infantino has 'qualities to continue my work': Blatter
"He has all the qualities to continue my work and drive FIFA towards stability." Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Gianni Infantino has 'qualities to continue my work': Blatter

AFP · 28 Feb 2016, 10:16

Published: 28 Feb 2016 10:16 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"I congratulate Gianni sincerely and from the bottom of my heart for his election," Blatter said in a statement sent to AFP in an email from his spokesman.

Blatter was suspended by FIFA in October after Swiss prosecutors announced he was the target of an investigation into criminal mismanagement and misuse of funds.

The 79-year-old Swiss national, however, warned that his successor will now face even higher expectations after the multilingual lawyer, who cut his teeth at UEFA where he was secretary-general, set out radical proposals for change.

"With the adoption of the reform programme, expectations on him will be even higher. But I am convinced that my successor will put them in place," said Blatter, currently serving a six-year ban from the game.

"With his experience, his capacities, his sense of strategy and diplomacy, he has all the qualities to continue my work and drive FIFA towards stability."

Blatter wished Infantino "a lot of luck and success".

Even though Blatter was absent from Friday's Congress, he still proved a hard man to keep out of the headlines, be it in Europe or thousands of miles away in the Caribbean.

Disgraced Trinidad and Tobago football boss Jack Warner said Blatter opened the door for the corruption scandal which brought him down with his own "vindictiveness".

Warner, banned from football for life and fighting extradition to the United States to face charges of racketeering, money laundering and bribery, appeared at the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain, and insisted he had no interest in the FIFA presidential election.

"I don't even know who is running," Warner said.

He said Blatter's fall from grace was of his own making and resulted from his "vindictiveness" towards Warner who did not back him in the previous FIFA election.

"I told him it was time to step down, let the younger men run the thing and so on. So he came at me. All of this," he said, gesturing around the court room, "is because of his vindictiveness and spite. But I warned them that the tsunami would come and it is here now."

Warner said Blatter had done a lot to bring developing countries into the mainstream of international football and deserved to be recognised for that contribution.

"I am sorry that he has to be remembered in this way where he has been banned for six years," he said.

Meanwhile, Blatter was also told Friday he must leave his FIFA apartment or start paying rent, sources told AFP.

"From the election of his successor, Sepp Blatter's contract is terminated," said a FIFA source who requested anonymity.

"This means that he has to leave his official apartment or pay rent."

Story continues below…

Blatter spokesman Klaus Stoelker told AFP in an email that he was unavailable to comment on Blatter's plans or living arrangements.

While suspended, Blatter lost access to his office phone and work emails.

But according to Swiss law, a suspension from work does not prevent an employee from being paid or from living in an apartment paid for by an employer.

The FIFA presidential residence is located in a Zurich house divided into several units.

Blatter's compensation as president was not disclosed, but has been estimated between 5 million francs (€4.5 million) and 10 million francs.

Blatter began working at FIFA in 1975 as its development director, ultimately rising to the presidency in 1998.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Illegal immigrant dies after setting himself on fire
The victim was treated at University Hospital Zurich. Photo: University Hospital Zurich

The 45-year-old Tunisian was threatened with deportation.

Swiss government rejects call for second immigration vote
Photo: Justus Blumer/Christophe G

The Swiss government has rejected a popular initiative calling for a revote on plans to limit immigration.

Bern: companies should report salary inequality by law
File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The Swiss government wants to force small companies to examine their rates of pay every four years.

Husband in custody after Orbe body identified
File photo: Bas Leenders

The deceased is a 55-year-old woman who lived in the house with her husband.

Presented by MoneyPark
How to get a mortgage in Switzerland
Houses in Zürich. Photo: Pixabay.

Ready to buy? Here’s what you need to know as an expat about Swiss regulations, how to finance your purchase, and why you should use a broker.

Autumn in Switzerland: ten stunning Instagram photos
Photo: Swiss Tourism/Jan Geerk

Switzerland is beautiful in all seasons, but as these photos show, autumn is a special time in the alpine country.

Report: Swiss progress slows on gender equality
File photo: David Soulivet

Globally, it will take 170 years to achieve gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum.

Brothers go to court to stop suicide of sibling
File photo: Lisa Edmonds

Two men have filed a legal bid to prevent the Swiss assisted suicide association Exit from helping their older brother to kill himself.

Wawrinka snubs past form to reach Basel second round
Wawrinka beat local wildcard Marco Chiudinelli. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

US Open champion Stan Wawrinka has reached the second round in Basel after going out in the first round for the past four years.

Villagers asked to help fund bridge renovations
The bridge links the two villages of Veltheim (pictured) and Holderbank. Photo: Lutz Fischer-Lamprecht

The crowdfunding campaign by the two communes is the first of its kind in Switzerland.

Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben
Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: The Local
Ticino firefighters rescue cow from swimming pool
Photo: Antoni Da Campo
Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
Photo: Randy Kashka
Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Seven things you’ll miss about Switzerland if you leave
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
jobs available