FIFA president Sepp Blatter told German magazine Bunte that he is "not corrupt" despite a corruption scandal currently engulfing FIFA.
In the interview, the 79-year-old said that he shouldn't be considered corrupt despite the U.S. government's investigation into the organization over which Blatter presides. He also said anyone who linked him to corruption should be jailed.
"I am open to correct or positive criticism," Blatter said, according to Bunte. "I can use that to reconsider if I need to change in the future. But if anybody calls me corrupt because FIFA is corrupt, I can only shake my head. Everybody who says something like that should go to jail."
Blatter announced his intention to resign as FIFA president in early June, just days after winning reelection for a fifth term as the organization's president.
Blatter, a Roman Catholic, told Bunte he has been strengthened by his faith throughout the saga.
"I am a religious person and pray, too. I own a golden cross that has been blessed by Pope Francis," Blatter said, according to Bunte. "I believe I will go to heaven one day. But I believe there is no hell. I disagree with the pope on that."
On Tuesday, Blatter's lawyer said his client will not be able to attend the FIFA Women's World Cup final due to "personal reasons."
- Christopher Chavez