Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has accused current incumbent Gianni Infantino of trying to destroy his reputation, while insisting that his conscience is clear over his activities while at the head of world football.
Blatter is currently on trial alongside former UEFA head Michel Platini for charges of fraud, embezzlement and corruption.
Prosecutors have requested a 20-month prison sentence for the pair, with a verdict expected at the start of July.
Blatter explained to RTS:
I want to clear my honour. When I arrived, we were nothing. And when I left, we were an international organisation, solid economically, socially, culturally, even politically.
I don’t know why, but Infantino doesn’t want me. He even tries to artificially create a case against me.
He wants to tear me down, but also everything I’ve done because he thinks he’s doing better.
I must say that I am very touched. I have been accused of criminal instincts, I have been accused of being a thief. It is absurd. I do not know why I find myself in court and I am sure that thousands, not to say millions of footballers don’t understand it either.
Platini is also defiant in the face of the charges, which he vowed to fight until the very last instance.
The French football legend claimed to RTS:
I am shielded against injustice. When we played football matches, which we have lost because of a decision by the referee, we are a little shielded.
But injustice hurts your loved ones, your family, your children, your grandchildren much more, because they are not prepared to undergo this.
I will fight, I’m in the fight, and that’s something I’ve always enjoyed. I don’t give up, I won’t give up and I’ll go all the way.