FIFA President Sepp Blatter said in a magazine interview that he is not corrupt and that he has a "clear conscience" despite corruption investigations into world soccer's governing body.
"Whoever accuses me of being corrupt has to prove it to me first. But nobody can do that because I'm not corrupt," Blatter said in Thursday's edition of German weekly Bunte, extracts of which were released Wednesday.
Four days after being re-elected for a fifth term, Blatter said on June 2 that he would step down amid a crisis provoked by American and Swiss federal investigations of corruption linked to FIFA.
American law enforcement officials have confirmed that Blatter is a target of their investigation into widespread bribery and racketeering linked to broadcast rights and hosting votes for international tournaments.
The 79-year-old told Blatter said that he happily accepts "fair and constructive criticism, also to consider what can be done differently. But when someone says, 'Blatter is corrupt because FIFA is corrupt,' I can only shake my head. Anyone who makes such claims without proof should be jailed."