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Sunday, March 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Norman Chad: Sepp Blatter gives Couch Slouch the time of day

Facing corruption charges from U.S. prosecutors and endless bashing by worldwide media, embattled FIFA president Sepp Blatter resigned last week, then agreed to sit down for an exclusive one-on-one, bare-all interview with Couch Slouch. We met at a café around the corner from a bank where he’s had an offshore account since 1938. He sipped on Dom Perignon and I drank Yoo-hoo. Here is an edited transcript of our conversation:

Couch Slouch: Let’s start on a positive note – was there ever any doubt in your mind about winning a fifth term as FIFA president?

Blatter: I thought I had the votes, and if I don’t have the votes, I can buy them.

CS: But then – four days after you said, “Why would I step down?” – you stepped down. Why?

Blatter: Things change.

CS: When you wake up every morning, do you feel universally reviled?

Blatter: No, I feel refreshed. Then again, I often sleep on a bed of 100-euro bills, and trust me, that’s refreshing.

CS: Fourteen men were indicted on bribery-related charges. Isn’t it fair to say there is a stench of misconduct enveloping FIFA?

Blatter: It’s only a bribe if they catch you.

CS: What ran through your mind when you saw all those arrests at the Baur au Lac Hotel, essentially shaming FIFA publicly for its institutionalized unscrupulousness?

Blatter: Room service at the Baur au Lac is unequaled. They do wonderful things with truffles.

CS: How do you respond to outsiders who believe FIFA is corrupt to its core?

Blatter: Certainly not to its core.

CS: What do you say to your critics who have long called for an end to FIFA’s backroom deals?

Blatter: These are people who have never had a good cigar in a nice backroom.

CS: Even Visa expressed disappointment in FIFA and said it would reassess its sponsorship.

Blatter: I love my Visa card – I don’t leave home without it.

CS: That’s American Express.

Blatter: I also use American Express – I have a higher credit limit on that card.

CS: Are you worried that you are now the focus of a federal corruption investigation?

Blatter: Tcch. I will go on “Larry King” and explain everything.

CS: Are you concerned that some FIFA officials might cooperate with the investigation and spill the beans on you?

Blatter: The check’s already in the mail.

CS: How ’bout Jack Warner?

Blatter: Today – maybe tomorrow – I settle all family business.

CS: Do you plan to retire?

Blatter: No. I already have feelers from the IOC, Wal-Mart and Hewlett-Packard.

CS: Doesn’t your legacy at FIFA seem shattered with this investigation exposing a 24-year scheme of impropriety?

Blatter: I’ve only been president for 17 years.

CS: Racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering, officials taking more than $150 million in bribes. How do you account for this?

Blatter: What you call “bribes,” I call “gifts” – you should see the gold-plated music box from South Africa on my desk. It’s very lovely.

CS: With all due respect, your resignation notwithstanding, you seem nonchalant about the fact that we’re talking about a 47-count indictment, a laundry list of endless shenanigans.

Blatter: Please. This isn’t even Deflategate.

CS: In light of all the revelations – and more might be forthcoming – any thought of moving the 2022 World Cup from Qatar to the U.S.?

Blatter: Over my dead body, and I don’t plan on dying.

CS: But by shifting the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from summer to fall because of the heat there, doesn’t that indicate FIFA erred by awarding that nation the Cup?

Blatter: We did not shift the ’22 Cup from summer to fall because of the heat. We shifted it because there’s been a slight delay in receiving proper funds from the host country’s benefactors.

CS: You’re telling me that all of those funds won’t be in FIFA’s hands until late in 2022?

Blatter: It’s a rather large amount.

Ask the Slouch

  Q. Please don’t take this as a criticism, but what do you find so appealing about bowling? (Joe Fumo; Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin)

  A. Listen, pal, if I were stranded on a desert island and all they had there were three jars of Jif peanut butter, a half-keg of Yuengling and an abandoned bowling alley, I could survive for three years.

Q. Does winning the National Spelling Bee make a future collegiate student-athlete ineligible by NCAA guidelines? (Kevin Doherty; Silver Spring, Maryland)

A. No, but if that student-athlete enrolls at North Carolina, he or she probably would receive a degree without even attending phantom classes.

Q. The Red Sox seem to be struggling a bit. Do you think maybe there’s too much air in their baseballs? (Bob Hudson; Silver Spring, Maryland)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Norman Chad is a syndicated columnist.

You, too, can enter his $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway.

Just email asktheslouch@aol.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!

 

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