January 22 – Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter spent a week in an induced coma after having heart surgery in December, his family has revealed.
Blatter, who also tested positive for Covid-19 late last year, was well enough only this week to be moved out of intensive care.
“Just before Christmas, he had to go to the hospital for heart surgery,” Corinne Blatter said of her 84-year-old father in an interview with Swiss media, adding the operation had originally been expected to be routine.
“Everything became more complicated and dangerous. In total, he was in an artificial coma for over a week and was no longer responsive.”
“The doctors are satisfied with his condition. But there’s still a long way to go,.”
Blatter has been under criminal investigation by Swiss federal prosecutors since 2015, and has not yet been told that FIFA filed a further criminal complaint against him last month, according to his daughter.
The latest case relates to the World Football Museum in Zurich, a pet project of Blatter that did not open until February 2016 after his presidency had ended.
“He knows nothing about the museum complaint yet,” his daughter said. “And that is a good thing. He would just get unnecessarily agitated.”
Speaking about Blatter’s health for the first time and the stress of him facing multiple legal cases she added: “I am not a medical doctor, nor am I a psychologist. But when you consider all the things my father has had to put up with in the last five years … you can imagine that he has been under a lot of pressure.”
Blatter’s 17-year spell in charge of FIFA infamously came to a bitter end in 2015 and he is still serving a six-year ban from football.
But there is some good news, at least, with Le Monde in France reporting that another part of the wide-ranging Swiss probe into alleged criminal misconduct had been terminated.
Last year Swiss justice investigators closed an investigation into a controversial contract signed in 2005 with the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) that saw TV rights passed on to disgraced former FIFA vice president and Concacaf boss Jack Warner.
Le Monde now claims federal prosecutor Thomas Hildbrand has closed an investigation concerning a private jet taken in 2007 by Warner and allegedly funded to the tune of $365,000 by FIFA.
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