FIFA faces more bad news

AFP
Published May 29, 2015, 6:41 am IST
Updated Mar 29, 2019, 1:30 am IST
Blatter ignores calls to quit, says he’s determined to contest today’s election
Fifa President Sepp Blatter and his girlfriend Linda Barras attend the opening ceremony of the 65th Fifa Congress in Zurich on Thursday (Photo:AFP)
 Fifa President Sepp Blatter and his girlfriend Linda Barras attend the opening ceremony of the 65th Fifa Congress in Zurich on Thursday (Photo:AFP)

Zurich: Fifa president Sepp Blatter said on Thursday that the scandal-tainted football body faces “more bad news” and that officials accused of corruption had brought shame and humiliation on the organisation. Blatter did not raise the many calls made for him to resign or Friday’s election, as he opened Fifa’s annual congress one day after seven top football officials were arrested as part of a US corruption inquiry.

“The next few months will not be easy for Fifa. I am sure more bad news will follow but it is necessary to begin to restore trust,” Blatter told the congress. “We cannot allow the reputation of football and Fifa to be dragged through the mud any longer. It has to stop here,” the 79-year-old added. Blatter called the scandals “unprecedented” and said the “actions of individuals bring shame and humiliation on football and demand action and change from us all.”

 

“The events of yesterday have cast a long shadow over football and over this week’s congress.” The football president said Fifa cannot be an “exception” to rules on corruption and added “we will cooperate with all authorities to make sure that anyone involved in wrongdoing from top to bottom  will be discovered and punished.” Despite the storm, Blatter is favourite to win a fifth term in a vote at the congress on Friday. His only challenger is Prince Ali bin al Hussein of Jordan, a Fifa vice-president, who has called for widespread reforms.

Platini ‘sickened and disgusted’ by row

European football chief Michel Platini made a face-to-face call on Blatter to stand down at a meeting of world federation leaders amid mounting outrage over a corruption storm. He said Blatter refused and was determined to remain in a vote for the Fifa presidency at a congress on Friday which has even drawn global political leaders into the fray. British Prime Minister David Cameron backed the calls for Blatter to resign. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, whose country beat England to get the 2018 World Cup, supported Blatter for a fifth term.

 

Platini said he confronted the 79-year-old Blatter at an emergency meeting of the heads of the the six regional confederations. The Uefa president said he was “sickened” and “disgusted” at the events which led to the arrest of seven top football officials, including two Fifa vice-presidents, at a Zurich hotel on Wednesday. They are among 14 people accused by US authorities of taking more than $150 million in bribes.“Today I have come to ask you to quit Fifa, to resign from Fifa, to leave Fifa because its image is bad and we can no longer go on like this,” Platini said.   

 

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