On Feb. 26, 2016, FIFA will elect Sepp Blatter's successor. Blatter, who announced his resignation in May, has been president since 1998, and for much of the past decade, FIFA has been scrutinized for corruption. In May, 14 people were indicted by the FBI and IRS for wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering.

Although not indicted, Blatter is the face of the scandal. With less than 200 days left in his tenure, the 79-year-old Swiss is still making noise.

Blatter Putin

On Monday night, BBC Sport aired an exclusive interview with Blatter performed by Richard Conway. Blatter was in complete denial in his role in FIFA's corruption and justified his resignation:

"I did it because I wanted to protect FIFA," Blatter said. "I can protect myself. I am strong enough. I know what I have done, what I have not done. I have my conscience and I know I'm an honest man. I am clean. I am not a worried man.

"The institution is not corrupt. There is no corruption in football, there is corruption with individuals, it is the people."

Blatter has navigated around evidence against him, personally, while FIFA has gone down in flames with indictments. Blatter has arguably played dumb, and he insists he could not have stopped the underlying corruption of subordinate FIFA officials.

"It's not the institution," he reiterated. "That's what I cannot understand when the media says FIFA is corrupt. Not FIFA is corrupt. On the field of play, it's easy to control all the footballers because you have boundaries, you have a time limit, you have a referee. Outside of the field of play, you don't have that. Who can control 300 million people directly? 1.6 billion indirectly? It's impossible."

Conway digs deeper, telling Blatter he was the man asked to do that job, but Blatter refuses to accept it.

On a topic, Blatter, who has been with FIFA in some capacity since 1975, praises his collective work in soccer and makes an accusation that would make Abby Wambach and her teammates cringe.

"The game is played everywhere and the game is played by everybody and what I brought in, what is so important, is women's football," Blatter said. "This was a challenge made to me in '86 in a congress in Mexico."

Blatter has six more months to make face time with the world before FIFA's new administration does everything it can to block his presence. He will not speak on his knowledge of the corruption scandal while the investigation is ongoing. When Conway asks if he is worried, Blatter denies it. Conway then gives him the floor to come clean, and Blatter shakes his head and refuses.

When asked about French UEFA President Michel Platini, the favorite to succeed him, Blatter responded, "Why not? Don't ask the president who is elected to make a comment on the race for the presidency. I don't mind, it's the congress who will decide, not me."

Blatter Germany

Although the U.S. government has handed down these indictments, Blatter says he has many friends in America (just not in the FBI or IRS). A former U.S. ally, Chuck Blazer, a FIFA Executive Committee member from 1996 to 2013, has already entered a guilty plea for his charges in the corruption case.

Here's an American perspective from Boomer Esiason:


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-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.

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