Suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter thinks his six-year ban from football will be overturned next month and he's now prepared to reveal what he knows about Germany’s controversial 2006 World Cup bid.
The Swiss administrator has appealed his ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport and said he expects everything will be “cleared up in the middle of April."
Blatter was one of a number of individuals approached by law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer - who were tasked with looking into allegations of wrongdoing in Germany's bid for the 2006 World Cup by the German FA (DFB) - who didn’t speak to lawyers. But Blatter said his change of circumstances would loosen his tongue.
"I have not commented because I was the (FIFA) president. Now I can say what I know," he said. "As long as I was in FIFA nothing like that happened. I think that is untrustworthy and wrong. That is absurd."
Blatter plans return
The law firm said on March 4 that there was no evidence of vote buying but also said that it couldn’t rule it out.
Their investigation showed that a sum of 10 million Swiss francs (€6.7 million) ended up in a account held by a Qatari firm owned by banned former FIFA executive Mohammed Bin Hammam.
And Franz Beckenbauer, president of the 2006 World Cup organizing committee, this week repeated a claim the payment was arranged with Blatter to secure a grant of 250 million Swiss francs (228 million euros) from FIFA for the World Cup.
The money transfers in 2002 "look odd" but "it is a German problem," Blatter said. Blatter remains confident his football exile won’t last and said he expects to be at the World Cup in 2018, thanks to an invite from a powerful ally. "I will certainly be there in 2018. I have an invitation from President (Vladimir) Putin," he said.