Blatter to leave museum legacy

Sepp Blatter (AFP)
Sepp Blatter (AFP)

Zurich - The multi-million dollar FIFA museum, the project of fallen world football chief Sepp Blatter, will open its doors on February 28 in Zurich, two days after the election of his successor, FIFA announced on Tuesday.

Over $140 million has been invested over the past three years in the museum dedicated to the world's most popular sport.

"We couldn't ignore the turbulences, it was not easy. But we had to focus on our mission, to build a museum and a team," said managing director Stefan Jost of the work which continued against the backdrop of the current scandal engulfing the sport's governing body.

Blatter along with UEFA chief Michel Platini have both been suspended from all football activity for eight years by a FIFA tribunal, over a $2 million payment that Blatter approved to the Frenchman.

"It's not a museum about personalities, it's about what football gives to people around the world," added Jost of the project which was the brainchild of Blatter, who has headed FIFA since 1998.

"We don't know if the new president will participate in the inauguration," said Jost, adding that the interim secretary general Markus Kattner would be present.

In the centre of Zurich, and covering 3000 m2 on three levels, the museum will exhibit objects retracing the history of football, with a library including 5000 works.

"We started with just two objects in our collection, namely the original World Cup trophy and a jersey from the Italian world champion team of 1938," explained artistic director David Ausseil.

"The funds were then supplemented with donations, loans or acquisitions in auctions."

It is hoped that the museum will attract 250,000 visitors per year, comparable with the Olympic museum in Lausanne, which drew 300,000 in 2015.

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