Soccer

Beckenbauer: Blatter right man

2011-05-29 15:49
Franz Beckenbauer (File)

London - German legend Franz Beckenbauer insists Sepp Blatter is still a credible FIFA president despite allegations of corruption involving key members of world football's governing body.

Blatter is the only candidate left in next week's presidential election following rival Mohamed bin Hammam's withdrawal from the race after a week of bitter accusations.

Bin Hammam, the president of the Asian Football Confederation and Blatter, along with FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, will appear before the FIFA ethics committee on Sunday as a result of bribery allegations.

Bin Hammam and Warner have been rocked by the allegations, while Blatter is charged with knowing about alleged bribery.

Many believe the scandal should force Blatter to step down from his role even if he is re-elected.

But retiring FIFA executive committee member Beckenbauer, who played in and managed German World Cup winning teams, told Radio Five Live's Sportsweek: "He (Blatter) did a wonderful job. It's not easy. FIFA is like the United Nations - we have 208 members.

"It's not an easy to handle, but I think Blatter and his staff are doing a wonderful job."

However Beckenbauer admitted the allegations were very damaging for the game.

"It's a disaster for football and I hope when June 1 comes and the election will be over, then all the discussion about corruption is finished and FIFA can go back to normal," he said.

"I don't know what's going on in the next days, but in general it's my opinion it's very, very bad."

Beckenbauer, who said he had never been offered a bribe, ruled out the possibility of standing for FIFA president.

"Certainly not. I'm leaving the UEFA exco, I'm leaving the FIFA exco - no way."

Read more on:    fifa elections  |  franz beckenbauer
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