The Swiss newspaper "Blick" followed soon-to-be-former FIFA president Sepp Blatter on his first outing following his resignation announcement. According to the paper, Blatter appeared unapologetic and full of energy.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter made his first public appearance on Thursday after more than three weeks of shunning the spotlight following his June 2 announcement that he would be stepping down as FIFA president in September, mere days after winning re-election despite a corruption probe that saw several top-level FIFA officials arrested.
According to the Swiss daily "Blick," Blatter acted as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened when he attended Thursday's ceremony for the topping off, or laying of the final beam, at FIFA's new museum, which is to open in Zurich in 2016. Speaking to the gathered engineers, workers, and architects who contributed to the building, "Blick" reported that Blatter was "fresh and full of energy" at the ceremony "as if he had never announced his resignation as FIFA president."
Blatter opened his comments with a quote from Pablo Picasso: "Give a museum, and I will fill it."
His speech was met with smiles, whistles, and applause from the audience, wrote "Blick."
In an exclusive statement, Blatter told the paper he had "not resigned" but rather that he was "offering up my mandate at an extraordinary convention."
"Blick" reported that the 79-year-old who has led FIFA, international soccer's governing body, for nearly two decades repeatedly said, "It's so nice to be here, it does one good."
The paper speculated over whether Blatter could be considering running, again, for re-elections during the extraordinary FIFA conference where he was expected to resign.
Construction of the FIFA World Football Museum began in 2014, and is set to open in the first few months of 2016. A showroom to give the public a first glance at what the facility will offer opened in May of this year.