A high-profile fraud trial of soccer’s once most powerful men was delayed Wednesday in Switzerland after one of the accused, Sepp Blatter, said he was too ill to testify.
“The pain will come back, and I am having difficulty breathing,” said the 86-year-old in a whisper.
Blatter, the former head of soccer’s world governing body, FIFA, along with Michel Platini, former star player and former head of UEFA, are charged with fraud over an alleged 2011 payment of $2 million from Blatter to Platini. UEFA is soccer’s governing body in Europe.
Blatter’s 17 years as FIFA president came to an end in June 2015, when he resigned amid the scandal.
Both men deny wrongdoing and say the payment was for advisory work Platini did for FIFA from 1998 to 2002.
The two men were banned from soccer several years ago.
“I know I have not done anything against the law. My life was football, for 45 years with FIFA. My life is football,” Blatter reportedly told reporters.
The trial was set to end on June 22 with a verdict on July 8. Both could face prison time or fines.
Some information in this report comes from The Associated Press and Reuters.