Ousted FIFA president says he forgives everyone but forgets nothing.
January 20, Zurich — Appearing on the Worldwebforum 2020 stage alongside investigative journalist Jan Fleishauer, formerly of Der Spiegel, Sepp Blatter reflects on his time before and after the much-publicized corruption scandal.
For a long time, at the very top of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), were 11 people reigning supreme on the empire of football. Then came number 12. That was Sepp Blatter, now former president of FIFA. “You never want to be the twelfth player in football” jokingly remarked Mr. Blatter to describe the uneasiness that surrounded his ascension to the highest governing body of football. Alas, the politics of the association, which ended with his firing, a corruption scandal, and several lawsuits, were not only organisational.
The former president explained that when a game becomes a cultural and social phenomenon, you automatically see politicians getting interested and “try to take it away from us.” He recalls that the end of his career at the FIFA curiously coincided with one of his suggestions to grant the opportunity of hosting the World Cup to a certain country. More than anything, however, Sepp Blatter’s conversation at the Worldwebforum served as a great reminder to all heads of organizations. The reminder that ex-FIFA chief sought to share is that there is always a possibility to go from top to bottom in the blink of an eye, with absolutely no warning, and with your good friends joining a complot against you. Nobody is invincible, some may think they are, but they really are not.
“It was like the end not only of a dream but something I have worked during all my life” said the speaker. What the former FIFA chief hoped to teach the audience, however, was lessons on survival. “ What is the end of a company and who is responsible for that? It’s the individual. And I am responsible for what happened to me.” Surviving the highest of falls is not only tough as a businessman, it is tough also as a family man, but now “I am happier than ever”.
Over the past seven years, Worldwebforum in Zurich has developed into a meeting place for decision-makers who create sustainable value in entrepreneurially managed companies.
Thanks to close relationships with leaders in Silicon Valley, China, Europe and top academics globally, Worldwebforum brings together the most progressive minds with the aim of empowering radical change in the world. The annual meeting in Zurich convenes influential speakers such as Steve Wozniak, Cofounder of Apple, Jay Simons, President of Atlassian, Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of the World Wide Web, Ed Catmull, Founder of Pixar, Marian Goodell, CEO of Burning Man, David Sable, Global CEO of Young & Rubicam and Bill Wyman, Co-Founder and Former Bassist of The Rolling Stones. In 2020, Lars Ulrich, Co-founder and Drummer for Metallica; Roger Hallam , co-founder Extinction Rebellion; Brittany Kaiser , Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower and Sepp Blatter , former FIFA President will join the list of acclaimed headlining speakers.
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