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Sepp Blatter has classic ‘listen, lady’ response to question about possible FIFA corruption

Sepp Blatter faced the media the day after the World Cup ended. (Pilar Olivares / Reuters)

Ordinarily, a person who was booed as enthusiastically as Sepp Blatter was after the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina might be somewhat chastened the next day.

But not the FIFA president, who wasn’t going to listen to a question about possible corruption in his organization. His reply to a female reporter who raised the subject was a snappish: “Listen, lady, when you speak about corruption, then you have to present evidence.”

He addressed a variety of other topics, including the decision to name Lionel Messi the best player in the tournament and the status of Luis Suarez, who was suspended after biting Georgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s victory over Italy.

“I was a little bit surprised when I saw Messi coming up as the best player in the competition,” Blatter said. “If you compare the beginning of the tournament and why, finally, the Argentina team got into the final, they were decisive and I think it was a decision [based on that].”

Suarez was banned for four months for that bite.  “Concerning the Suarez matter, I feel for him that such a punishment hurts but, as the president of FIFA, I have to accept the decision of the committee. This player will come back to football on the pitch and, what he has shown on the pitch, we saw his tactical and technical capacity and his smell for goal.”

Overall, Blatter had high marks for the tournament.  “We have improved on four years ago in South Africa. We consulted all our computers and our Facebooks and decided on 9.25 out of 10 because perfection does not exist in football,” he said. “This was my 10th World Cup and my fifth as president and what makes this so very, very special was the quality of the football and the intensity of the games.”