International

Blatter's ex-wife comes to his defence

2016-01-07 18:37
Sepp Blatter (AP)

Lausanne - Switzerland should be "grateful" to Sepp Blatter, the outgoing FIFA president and Swiss national who has been suspended from world football over ethics violations, his ex-wife was quoted as saying Thursday.

Graziella Blatter-Bianca also told the Swiss German paper Blick that her ex-husband deserved a "bonus" for his contributions to football.

"When Sepp Blatter was suspended for eight years for acts that still must be proved, he should also have been given a bonus of 20 years for all the good he did for football," she told Blick.

Blatter-Bianca, the disgraced FIFA boss' third wife and a former dolphin trainer, married Blatter in 2002 before the couple split two years later.

"I saw everything that he gave to his job. FIFA will struggle" to find a successor, she told the paper. "Switzerland should be grateful to him."

Blatter-Bianca has mounted previous defences of her former husband amid the scandal within world football that has seen dozens of senior officials charged with corruption by the United States.

Blatter and his one time heir apparent Michel Platini were both banned from football for eight years in December by FIFA judges over a disputed €1.8m payment.

Blatter is also the target of a probe by Swiss prosecutors over possible "criminal mismanagement" during his tenure at FIFA.

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