I was close to death recently in hospital- Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter, the suspended FIFA President said he was `very close to death’ when he was hospitalised earlier in the month, over problems owing to stress.

Blatter said in an interview on Monday in Zurich that he was between `the angels singing and the devil lighting the fire’.

He said in the interview in which extracts were made available ahead of Wednesday’s full broadcast, that it was the angels who sang.

Blatter, 79, said “the pressure was enormous’’ in his job lately as FIFA has been battered by corruption allegations and probes’’.

Blatter himself was suspended in early October after the start of a Swiss criminal probe against him on suspicion of mismanagement and a “disloyal payment’’ made to UEFA chief Michel Platini, who is also suspended.

Both face bans from football as the investigatory chamber of FIFA ethics committee has filed its reports to the adjudicatory chamber at which it has called for sanctions.

A final ruling could come before the end of the year.

Blatter plans to step down after 18 years at an extraordinary FIFA congress on Feb. 26, where Platini hopes to be elected his successor – pending the outcome of the FIFA proceedings.

Blatter reiterated in the interview that he and Platini did nothing wrong and that the verbal agreement on the 2 million dollar payment, made in 2011 for work done 1998-2002, did not violate FIFA rules.

He also named Platini his former protege before they fell out a few years ago as “an honest man” and expressed his belief that “he will be elected’’ FIFA president if he is able to run for the job.

Credit:Vanguard