Sepp Blatter has said he feels “abandoned” by football’s governing body and will now focus on clearing his name.
Fifa’s ethics committee last week banned Blatter and the Uefa president Michel Platini from football for eight years for ethics violations. Both men immediately denied any wrongdoing and said they would appeal to the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“I now no longer fight for Fifa,” Blatter, who led Fifa for 17 years, said according to the German magazine Bunte. “They abandoned me. I am now only fighting for myself and my honour.”
Blatter had come out swinging against the ban, saying that he was sorry only that the president of Fifa was being treated as a “punching ball” and adding: “I will fight for me and I will fight for Fifa.”
The 79-year-old Swiss told Bunte that he was re-energised by the “false claims” against him. “After Christmas I will start to fight back,” Blatter said.
The inquiry by Fifa’s ethics committee began after the Swiss attorney general’s office opened criminal proceedings against Blatter over a 2m Swiss franc (£1.35m) payment to Platini in 2011.
Switzerland’s prosecutor is also investigating Fifa’s award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals to Russia and to Qatar.
The ethics committee said it had not found evidence that the payment, made at a time when Blatter was seeking re-election, constituted a bribe, which meant the men were spared potential lifetime bans.
In the United States, prosecutors have indicted 27 current or former officials over allegations that they ran bribery schemes connected to the sale of television rights for competitions.
These include eight former Fifa executive committee members and the current heads of both the North and South American federations.