November 12 - Sepp Blatter admitted today that he had made mistakes during his 14-year FIFA Presidency but said he would not have got where he is without taking risks.
In a deep-thinking and reflective address here, Blatter (pictured top) revealed nothing new about FIFA policy, instead adopting a philosophical approach as he looked back on his often controversial tenure at the helm of world football – and his life before that.
Revealing that he was born prematurely and that he might even have died, Blatter, who has come under considerable pressure in the past 18 months because of a succession of corruption scandals at the heart of FIFA, said he quickly learned that fighting against adversity and taking controversial decisions were part of life both as a human being and in business.
"Those who never take risks will never have a chance," said Blatter.
"There is a saying that it is better to regret something you have done than something you haven't done.
"I may have made mistakes in both my private and professional life but I have learnt from them.
"The important thing is to make decisions yourself – even if it's the wrong one.
"Winning is easy.
"But not everyone can accept defeat."
Blatter revealed that had he lost out to Lennart Johansson for the FIFA Presidency in 1998, he had no idea what would have happened to him.
"I don't know what I would have done," he said.
"I had no plan B but I believed I would win.
"The next big challenge I had was the  World Cup in South Africa.
"You have seen the result."
Afterwards Blatter insisted to reporters his address was not a veiled attack on Mohamed Bin Hammam, once the most powerful man in Asian football who has been fighting a series of FIFA bans following last year's cash-for-votes scandal when he was accused of bribing Caribbean members.
Bin Hammam has consistently maintained there is a conspiracy against him and has accused the Blatter regime of being behind a move to keep him out of world football for having the audacity to stand against the 76-year-old Swiss for the FIFA Presidency.
But Blatter insisted his comments had nothing to do with the Bin Hammam situation and was more about his own experiences.
Often accused of being too autocratic, Blatter insisted he was anything but.
"My message was simply that you have to take calculated risks," said Blatter.
"I have lost at different times in my life and I wanted to transmit the message that you have to believe in what you are doing.
"I don't want people to speak in 200 years about Blatter the philosopher but I do believe that if you take a risk, you have to be prepared to lose.
"I'm not speaking about any personal thing.
"All I am saying is sometimes you make mistakes and have to suffer the consequences.
"I have always been prepared to lose."
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