Soccer

Blatter: No crisis at FIFA

2011-05-30 20:05
Sepp Blatter (File)

Zurich - FIFA president Sepp Blatter denied soccer's governing body was in crisis on Monday, saying his organisation would solve any "difficulties" internally and that there were no issues with the 2018 or 2022 World Cups.

"Crisis, what is a crisis?," Blatter told a news conference following an executive committee meeting.

"Football is not in a crisis," said Blatter, who is due to stand unopposed for a fourth term as president on Wednesday after his opponent Mohamed bin Hammam withdrew on Sunday amid cash-for-votes allegations.

"We have just seen a beautiful Champions League final with Barcelona, with fair play.

"Football is in some difficulties and they will be solved inside our family."

FIFA has been dogged by corruption allegations since the vote last year to stage the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar respectively, leading to widespread calls for reform.

But Blatter said there were no issues with either tournament.

"The World Cup in 2018 is not touched by that, neither is the 2022 World Cup in Qatar," he said.

Blatter was cleared of any wrongdoing by an ethics committee meeting on Sunday which handed out provisional bans to Bin Hammam and executive committee member Jack Warner, a long-term Blatter ally.

"I regret what has happened in the last few days and weeks, there has been great damage to the image of FIFA and especially a lot of disappointment for football fans," said Blatter.

He said Wednesday's election could only be cancelled with the approval of 75 percent of Congress, which consists of 208 national associations.

"If somebody wants to change something in the election on Wednedsay, these are the members of FIFA," he said.

Blatter also said there was no case to answer against four FIFA executive committee members accused of corruption during a British parliamentary hearing this month.

FIFA received a report from the English Football Association concerning the allegations against Ricardo Teixeira, Nicolas Leoz, Jack Warner and Worawi Makudi.

"We can confirm there are no elements in this report which would even report any proceedings but for the sake of transparency we will agree a comprehensive summary of this report," Blatter said.

He also said there had been no evidence from the Sunday Times newspaper over allegations that Issa Hayatou and Jacques Anouma had been paid to vote for Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid.

"We have not received any evidence whatsoever from the Sunday Times or from any announced whistleblower with regards to allegations against Hayatou and Anouma, therefore the same," he said.

Read more on:    fifa scandal  |  sepp blatter
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