FIFA urged to scrap election

2011-05-31 11:46

London - English football chiefs urged FIFA to scrap its presidential election on Tuesday as key sponsors voiced concern over the corruption-tainted governing body's tarnished image.

English FA chairperson David Bernstein said in a statement that Wednesday's election in Zurich needed to be postponed in order to allow a credible reform candidate to run against incumbent Sepp Blatter.

Blatter is set to be re-elected unopposed for a fourth term by FIFA's congress on Wednesday after the suspension of his election rival Mohamed bin Hammam pending investigation into bribery allegations.

But Bernstein said the mounting corruption allegations had prompted the FA to request for the postponement of the election "to give credibility to this process" and allow a "reforming candidate" to stand.

The FA also called for a "genuinely independent external party" to make recommendations for reform of FIFA's decision-making processes.

"This has been a very damaging time for the reputation of FIFA and therefore the whole of football," Bernstein said.

"To improve confidence in the way the game is governed at the very top, we believe these requests would be a positive step forward and the minimum that should take place."

In a potentially more significant development, three of FIFA's key commercial partners - soft drinks giant Coca-Cola, sports goods manufacturer Adidas and Emirates airlines  spoke out about the various scandals engulfing the body.

"The current allegations being raised are distressing and bad for the sport," Coca-Cola spokesperson Petro Kacur said.

"We have every expectation that FIFA will resolve this situation in an expedient and thorough manner."

Adidas meanwhile said the "repeated accusations (of corruption) are good for neither the image of football nor FIFA itself."

A spokesman for Emirates, Boutros Boutros said the airline was "disappointed" by the issues surrounding FIFA.

Tuesday's developments followed the suspension of Bin Hammam and FIFA vice-president Jack Warner following allegations they offered bribes in the campaign to oust long-serving supremo Blatter.

The suspensions followed weeks of revelations which have alleged several other members of FIFA's executive committee were involved in corruption during the votes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

However embattled president Blatter adopted a defiant stance in a press conference before journalists at FIFA headquarters on Monday where he denied the organisation was in crisis.

"Crisis, what is a crisis?" Blatter said. "We are not in a crisis. We are only in some difficulties and these will be solved within the FIFA family.

Blatter also rejected suggestions that the vote for the 2022 World Cup - awarded to the oil-rich Gulf state of Qatar - should be held again.

"There is no issue for the World Cup in 2022," the 75-year-old Swiss said.

Meanwhile the first signs of protest by Asian delegates emerged as a senior Asian Football Confederation (AFC) official revealed representatives from "nine or 10" countries had already returned home.

"I can tell you that so far delegates from nine or 10 federations have gone home after arriving here," the official said in Zurich, declining to name the countries involved. "There is a deep sense of outrage amongst all of the delegates I have spoken to about the actions of the FIFA ethics committee."

Asian delegates declined to say whether they would stage a protest at the congress similar to their walkout in 1999, when they dramatically stormed out of a meeting in Los Angeles over World Cup places.

"But we are planning to make our voices heard," AFC vice-president Ganesh Thapa said.


  • Anton - 2011-05-31 12:49

    Its not just that these FIFA thugs are corrupt, their arrogance is beyond believe ! They hijacked a beautiful sport. The time is now, to take it back from them.

  • Andrew - 2011-05-31 12:53

    I fully agree with the British FA on this. But FIFA is like the ANC, in order to qualify for president you have to be corrupt.

      Howzitekse - 2011-05-31 18:48

      British FA? Sour grapes.

      mazakes - 2011-06-01 09:48

      Andrew, just get a life. being anti-anc doesn't mean you have to be stupid. there are many of us who deplore anc's corruption with every fibre of our bodies - but stupidity is not part of our game. the english stupidity has never been so badly exposed. why did they not field a "credible" candidate of their own when they had the oppotunity to do so? now, with a few only a hours left, they want to postpone the elections in order to do what they chose not to do so. what a childish bunch these stupid brits are.

  • supafly - 2011-05-31 13:01

    Oh,please! The English shudn't talk about corruption as if it's catch-phrase (Twitter, Facebook, etc)! I'll ask just one question & I'll sound political! If these countries (USA, AUS, Britain) were such epitome of cleanlyness/non-corruption, etc, Why R their presidents (George Bush, Tony Blair, Kevin Rudd, etc) not in the international criminal courts, in the Hague for crimes against humanity, if all men were equall? Oh, I get it! Some men are more equal than others, right? "The defense rests, your honor!"

      Andrew - 2011-05-31 13:19

      superfly, what are you defending?

      Squire - 2011-05-31 13:49

      Dude! What the hell are you on about?????? Corruption in football vs crimes against humanity are about as far removed from each other as the planet we live on and the one you are from.

      Howzitekse - 2011-05-31 18:52

      He is saying that corruption is acceptable as long as it favours the Brits, Yanks and Aus. If things dont go their way, they cry foul. It is a couragous thing Blatter is doing to open up WC hosting. Now he is under fire from UK and Aus politicians, who are historically amoral medlars.

  • geewiz - 2011-05-31 14:43

    First, the English FA said they are boycotting the elections, now they say that the elections must be postponed. Are you for real? You whine & bitch about anything and everything when thongs don't go your way, do you want some cheese with your whine?

  • Jazz - 2011-05-31 15:16

    If i was the English FA I would just disown FIFA, the world cup is a sham, who needs them anyway? They dont own the game.

      mazakes - 2011-06-01 09:54

      You are right jazz, let's the fa disown fifa and form their own, with the help of scots. in that way, the greater football community (under fifa) will rid itself of useless english football, like the crab we saw from manU on sat nite.

  • Innocent - 2011-06-01 11:55


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