Former FIFA president, Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, was in an induced coma for a week after he had a successful heart surgery in December. The news was made public by the Blatter family who have come together to help as he recovers.
The 84-year-old, who also tested positive for COVID-19 late last year, was only this week considered well enough to be moved out of intensive care at the hospital in Switzerland where his family can attend to him.
Speaking to Swiss media, Blatter’s daughter, Corinne Blatter Andenmatten, said: “The doctors are satisfied with his condition. But there’s still a long way to go. It was the hardest and saddest Christmas of my life.”
As reported by THEWILL last month, the controversial football administrator and immediate past FIFA President is under criminal investigation by Swiss federal prosecutors for a 2015 case. But, as his daughter revealed, Blatter had not yet been told that FIFA filed a further criminal complaint against him in December.
In the days before Christmas last year, FIFA lodged a criminal complaint against its former president over the finances of the World Football Museum in Zurich.
The project was Blatter’s pet project but did not open until February 2016, after his presidency ended following the fallout from American and Swiss investigations of soccer officials in the corruption scandal that rocked his administration and forced his resignation.
FIFA alleged that Blatter’s administration cost them £420m in renovation costs for “a building that the organisation doesn’t own”, while also “locking itself into a long-term rental agreement on unfavourable terms”.
But his daughter explained why they have kept the news away from her old man.
“He knows nothing about the museum complaint yet. And that is a good thing. He would just get unnecessarily agitated.
“You can imagine that he has been under great pressure,” she replied about the stress of facing multiple legal cases and interviews with prosecutors.
Ahead of a scheduled meeting next week in one of several civil and criminal cases between FIFA and its president from 1998-2015, Blatter Andenmatten spoke in detail about the health challenges the older Blatter was enduring as he recovers.
His age notwithstanding, Blatter had overcome his COVID-19 infection and the professional medical team handling his health issues had expected his heart surgery to be routine and without complications.
As Blatter Andenmatten described it, they were wrong.
“But then everything became more complicated and dangerous. In total he spent over a week in an artificial coma and was no longer able to communicate.
“He has earned the right to be able to enjoy the rest of life without constantly being torpedoed by his previous employer,” Blatter Andenmatten finished.
She ended by requesting that her father “be granted what he needs on the path to, hopefully, a complete recovery: rest, time and relaxation” instead of being hounded at every corner.