Outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter has told the BBC he is “clean” and “there is no corruption in football” amid criminal investigations at world football’s governing body.
Blatter, president since 1998, will step down in February amid an inquiry into allegations of systematic bribery.
The 79-year-old was elected for a fifth term in May but then stood down.
“I did it because I wanted to protect FIFA. I can protect myself. I am strong enough,” he said.
“I know what I have done, what I have not done, I have my conscience and I know I’m an honest man. I am clean.”
Two criminal investigations into corruption at FIFA are continuing, after seven top officials were arrested at a dramatic FIFA congress last May.
That includes an inquiry into bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, leading to speculation that Russia and Qatar could be stripped of football’s flagship event and a re-vote ordered.
But in an exclusive interview with the BBC’s Richard Conway, Blatter said: “The institution is not corrupt, there is no corruption in football, there is corruption with individuals. It is the people.”

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