Suspended Blatter says won't go down without a fight: paper

Sat Oct 10, 2015 6:15pm EDT
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ZURICH (Reuters) - Sepp Blatter will battle on despite his suspension as head of world soccer body FIFA amid corruption investigations, he was quoted as saying by a Swiss newspaper.

"I am a fighter," the Schweiz am Sonntag paper quoted him as saying in an advance summary of a brief interview to be published on Sunday.

"They can destroy me, but they cannot destroy my life's work."

Blatter, who has headed FIFA since 1998, was provisionally suspended from his duties as president for 90 days by the group's ethics committee on Thursday. He has denied wrongdoing an filed an appeal to try to reverse the ban.

The paper cited him as saying the ethics committee had forbidden him to speak about FIFA. While surprised by the ban, "I am doing well and I feel good," he told the paper from his flat in Zurich.

Swiss prosecutors last month opened a criminal investigation of Blatter on suspicions of mismanagement and misappropriation of funds over a television rights contract he signed in 2005 and a 2 million Swiss franc ($2.1 million) payment in 2011 to Michel Platini, president of the UEFA soccer confederation.

Platini has also denied any wrongdoing and is fighting to reverse his provisional suspension as well.

(Reporting by Michael Shields Editing by W Simon)

Sepp Blatter gestures during a news conference after the Extraordinary FIFA Executive Committee Meeting at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland July 20, 2015.    REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann