The seemingly unbreakable Sepp Blatter has finally cracked -- and it almost cost him his life. The embattled FIFA president, currently under a 90-day suspension from his position due to his role in corruption allegations, was admitted to a hospital this month for a "small emotional breakdown."
In reality, the small stress-related episode grew into a life-threatening situation. In an interview with Swiss TV channel RTS, set to air Wednesday, Blatter describes how tenuous his situation became.
"I was very close [to death]," he said, according to The Guardian. "I was among the angels singing and the devil with the fire. But it was the angels who sang."
Blatter also admitted that the allegations and investigation surrounding FIFA's business practices played into his hospital visit.
"The pressure was enormous," Blatter said. "If you are strong mentally, you can resist, but at some point the body says 'no,' and here the body has reacted badly."
Blatter is out of the hospital now, but his troubles aren't going away: an appeal his 90-day suspension from FIFA was rejected last week, forcing him to stay on the sidelines as investigations run their course. The organization's ethics committee is expected to reveal its own findings from an investigation sometime in the next few days.
Blatter, 79, has been accused of giving UEFA president Michel Platini and illegal payment of 1.3 million pounds -- roughly $2 million U.S. Platini is also under a 90-day suspension.
In the end, the continued suspension is likely good for all parties involved: Blatter's doctors recommended that he take more time away from work, and FIFA is in desperate need of new leadership -- or at least the absence of previous executives who oversaw tens of millions of dollars in fraudulent activity.