Sepp Blatter will not go down without a fight. The 79-year-old looked frail as he addressed media in four different languages at a press conference organised after the Fifa president and Michel Platini were banned from football for eight years by the organisation's ethics committee.
But his defiant tone belied the dishevelled appearance as the Swiss national vowed to clear his name over a payment of 2m Swiss francs (£1.35m, $2m) in 2011 he made to Platini, nine years after both men claimed it was originally due.
"I will fight for me and I will fight for Fifa. I am suspended for eight years for what?", Blatter said. The beleaguered leader of world football outlined three avenues he will pursue in a bid to banish corruption charges involving him.
Uefa boss Platini has yet to respond to the sanction – which also included a £33,700 fine for Blatter and a £54,000 one for Frenchman Platini – but he is likely to take the same path as Blatter.
"We go immediately once again to the appeal committee, to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. We go also to the Swiss," he said. "Under Swiss law to be suspended for eight years you have to have committed something very, very important."
The appeal means Blatter is unlikely to leave the spotlight for some time.
The chaos surrounding Blatter, Platini and Fifa throws next year's presidential elections into doubt and could bring to an end the former Juventus midfielder's aspirations of succeeding his mentor as the head of world football.
The other five candidates standing for election – which will happen at Fifa's Extraordinary Congress meeting in Zurich in February – are Prince Ali Al Hussein, Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa, Jérôme Champagne, Tokyo Sexwale and Gianni Infantino.