Disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has said he will defend football's governing body at the trial into corruption held in the United States.

A total of 39 people, executives and officials, are charged over bribery allegations but setting a date for a trial pencilled in for February next year has already been put back because of the mass of evidence collated.

Despite currently serving a six-year ban from football following a heavily scrutinised €1.8m payment made by FIFA to then UEFA president Michel Platini in 2011, Blatter will speak up in support of the organisation he led for 17 years. Blatter is not facing any charges in the US.

"When they need me to defend FIFA, I will be available," said the Swiss, speaking at a University of Basle seminar on FIFA reform, where he subsequently denied any wrongdoing on his part.

"I am still defending FIFA in cases which are actually in court. I am fighting corruption as well. Our (FIFA's) efforts to fight corruption were stopped.

"I regret I have not done enough to bring FIFA back on the right track. I take responsibility but inside FIFA with the national associations we have put a lot of barriers to stop corruption, bribery.

"Both the (FIFA) ethics committee and appeal committee say in the case where I am suspended there is no bribery or corruption with the president of FIFA.

"I am fighting corruption as well. Our (FIFA's) efforts to fight corruption were stopped." - Sepp Blatter

"All those people arrested in Zurich or other countries are Americans from the North and South."
However, Blatter was challenged on the corruption issue by former International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo.

"I believe Mr Blatter knew but he decided to stay silent and his silence is the problem," Ocampo said.
Blatter spent over an hour on the platform but was interrupted just moments after starting to speak by protesters in the auditorium chanting and blowing whistles, which drew the response "Shame on you" from the former head of FIFA.

Later in the debate, live-streamed by the university, a delegate claiming to be from the university's Marxist Society stood up and said he was making an intervention demanding, among other things, full FIFA transparency.

Blatter offered no response but his challenger received warm applause from the assembled attendees.

Blatter defended FIFA against accusations of human rights issues related to a considerable number of deaths among workers building stadiums for the 2022 Qatar World Cup but called for stronger action on racism.

"I have to defend the construction of the stadia," he said. "It is not the construction of stadia which is the big reasons for deaths, it is the reconstruction of the whole country. We can only hope now it will be improved."

On racism he called for tougher punishments. "In racism we haven't had the courage so far - just deduct points or eliminate a team in a cup competition," he added.

"No-one has done it because they don't have the courage to do so.

"If you have racism in a game then eliminate the club or national association from the competition for one year and then it will end."