A key to Infantinos win was promising to more than

first_imgdouble cash grants to the 209 member federations. Asked about likely media reaction had he made similar campaign pledges, a smiling Blatter said: “They would have killed me. I was always criticized by saying, He buys votes.” Blatter is “sure we have enough” money at FIFA to fund Infantinos promises from the USD 5 billion-plus income from each World Cup. The only advice he offered was Infantino should guide his rebranded FIFA Council to hire a newly empowered CEO from outside Europe. Blatter suggested “that would be wrong” to pick another European after 112 years of only men from the sports mother continent doing the job, including himself from 1981-98. Speaking gently, and with no hint of regret, he said of Infantinos leadership challenges: “This is his problem now.” Blatters main problem is a criminal proceeding against him opened by Switzerlands attorney general last September for potential mismanagement of FIFA money as president. Charges could follow within several months. On this day, Blatter has a different focus, claiming he has stopped being a workaholic, though he will pursue an appeal to clear his name at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. He speaks of his daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter, and his partner Linda Barras. After a health scare in November, he predicts being at 100 percent “in a few days.” “Love, tenderness, family thats it,” he said. “These are good assets. I have realized that. Now I have another approach to my life.” AP SSC SSClast_img read more

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