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My father never accepted bribes, Blatter’s daughter says

Fabrice Coffrini, AP file picture | Sepp Blatter is hugged by his daughter Corinne after being re-elected as FIFA president on June 1, 2011

As heads continue to roll at global football’s governing body on allegations of endemic corruption, the daughter of FIFA’s soon-to-be ex-president Sepp Blatter adamantly denied that her father accepted even a single bribe.

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“My father has never taken money. He has earned all his money by working. He’s a working president. This is what a lot of people don’t seem to understand,” Corinne Blatter-Andenmatten told French broadcaster RMC Sport in an exclusive interview aired on Wednesday.

“It’s difficult (to understand) because the people that stand accused are people he has to work with. He can’t choose them,” Blatter’s daughter said, “So he can’t be held responsible for them.”

Blatter, 79, stunned the football world on Tuesday by announcing his resignation, six days after police raided a luxury hotel in Zurich and arrested several FIFA officials on suspicion of racketeering, money laundering, wire fraud and other offences. The announcement came only four days after he was re-elected to a fifth term as FIFA’s president.

Shortly after his announcement, which was delivered at a hastily-called press conference, the New York Times reported that Blatter himself was under investigation by US law enforcement.

Speaking to the newspaper on condition of anonymity, US investigators said they were hoping that some of the FIFA officials now under indictment would cooperate in helping them build a case against Blatter.

Blatter-Andenmatten told RMC Sport that her father had stepped down after more than 17 years as head of FIFA in order to protect his family from the media frenzy.

“It really weighed on him that everyone was accusing him of I don’t really know what, of things that aren’t true. That hurts. And also because the media wouldn’t let it go. Above all he wants to protect his family. That was his problem because they began attacking his family. And that’s where it has to stop,” she said.

Blatter-Andenmatten said her father was “relieved” by his decision. “He’s not happy, but he’s free”.

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