Veteran Blatter targets match analyst career after retirement

Tue, Jan 15, 2013, 00:00

Stand aside Gary Neville, move over Alan Hansen. Despite his sometimes garbled grammar and controversial opinions, Fifa president Sepp Blatter has revealed that when he finally steps down in 2015 he would like to become a match analyst on television and radio.

Given his long-standing aversion to technology, it is also unclear how the 76-year-old would fare with Sky Sport’s studio gadgetry. But Blatter said he planned to “live a dream” he had when he was a young boy and work in the media as a radio “commentator or reporter”.

When it was suggested he could become a Sky Sports pundit, he replied: “I would comment on the games but I would not say ‘now he passes right or left’ because everybody can see that on TV, but I would make my comments on tactics or techniques.”

Blatter, controversially re-elected unopposed in 2011 for his fifth term as president, said at the time that he would retire in 2015. But he has hinted recently that he could go on. Yet in an interview with Sky Sports he insisted that he would leave Fifa at the age of 79.

Chosen successor

Although he has had an up and down relationship with Uefa president Michel Platini down the years, Blatter also appeared to anoint the former French international as his chosen successor. “This could be a good possibility . . . I am not so sure that he would be willing to go into the position as Fifa president, he has not declared officially. But he could, would, should be a good successor.”

Platini was one of the Fifa executive committee members who took the controversial decision to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup. But he has since argued for it to be switched to the winter, which would prove highly unpopular with Europe’s professional leagues.

Blatter continued to skirt around the topic, saying that as things stood the tournament would be played in the blazing summer heat but refusing completely to rule out a switch at a later date – if the organisers proposed it. The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, conversely, continues to say it is preparing for a summer tournament.

‘I’m a star’

“It is a question mark, as you say. And it is a good question, but I cannot give you a definite answer now,” said Blatter.

The Fifa president also insisted that his “road map” to reform and greater transparency was on track. After the storm of criticism and corruption allegations that engulfed Fifa in 2011, he said it would be finalised at its Congress in Mauritius in May.

He said, apparently without irony, that some of the topics up for debate would include “new statutes, some changes . . . how the president shall be elected to have more consensus for a candidate and so on”.

Blatter also responded to the booing directed at him during the London Olympics when he appeared on the pitch at Wembley: “ . . . Stars are always booed. So I’m a star, you have to take it this way.”

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