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12:00 PM UTC
Leg 1
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Ex-FIFA president Blatter: Money at risk of ruining football

He's back.... disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter was reportedly invited to the World Cup by Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Sepp Blatter has said football must remain accessible.

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, ousted during a corruption scandal, has said money is at risk of ruining the sport.

FIFA's Ethics Committee banned Blatter, who led FIFA for 17 years, from all football activities in 2015 after finding him guilty of unethical conduct related to a global corruption scandal.

Switzerland's attorney general is still investigating cases of suspected corruption involving world football's governing body which date back to 2014 and Blatter's presidency.

"People already pay a lot to get into the stadium. Prices are getting higher and higher because clubs need more money," Blatter told Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Wochenende.

The 83-year-old said he believed viewer numbers were falling in the French, Italian, English, Spanish and German leagues this season. "That is a bad sign. Football must remain accessible," he said.

Blatter has told various media outlets that he plans to take legal action against his successor Gianni Infantino over damage done to his reputation by the corruption scandal and information FIFA made public about payments to him which he said was inaccurate.

He told Schweiz am Wochenende that FIFA bodies signed off on all payments made to him, including a bonus of 10 million Swiss francs (£7.6m) received for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Asked whether he would drop his planned lawsuit against Infantino if his collection of luxury watches, which he left at FIFA's offices, was returned to him, he said: "The watches are of lesser importance. What is important to me is my moral rehabilitation."

Blatter said he also hoped the Swiss attorney general's office would soon decide whether to bring its case to court or drop it.

"When this is done, I want to write a book -- my memoirs, more or less," he added.


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