Stop calling Fifa corrupt, insists Blatter

2011-05-21 14:21

An enraged Fifa president Sepp Blatter has called on the football fraternity to stop labelling the world soccer body as a corrupt organisation.

Blatter was speaking in Johannesburg today where he was a guest at the 2010 World Cup legacy press conference hosted by regional soccer body Cosafa.

“I do not accept that someone in this room says that Fifa is corrupt,” Blatter said.

“We have over 300 million members and if there is a black sheep it doesn’t mean that the whole organisation is corrupt.”

The hastily arranged trip was also a means for Blatter to lobby and garner final support from some regions in the African continent ahead of next week’s Fifa presidential elections.

Africa provides 53 votes out of the total 208 Fifa seats.

Fifa has been hit with corruption allegations of late, with England’s former Football Association head and 2018 World Cup bid chairman Lord Triesman claiming that bids for the 2018 World Cup (that went to Russia) and the 2022 global showpiece (which was awarded to Qatar) were rigged.

The claims alleged that certain Fifa executive members, including vice-president Jack Warner, had accepted bribes in favour of votes for countries to host the tournament.

Blatter said he could not act on the allegations or comment until the English FA provided him with evidence.

“We have not received the said evidence from Lord Triesman or from the English FA,” he said.

“If other people are under these allegations then it’s not corruption until it is proven.

“I will say it again – Fifa is not corrupt, so stop it.”

Blatter (74), is seeking a fourth and final term as president of the global governing body and is being challenged by Qatari Mohammad Bin Hammam in next week’s elections.

The Swiss native is expected to win support from South America, Europe, Oceania and Africa to solidify his fourth term in office.

It is expected that Bin Hammam, a former Blatter ally, will have only the support from the Asian continental federation.

The four African regional federations – Cosafa (Southern Africa), Unifac (Central Africa), Cecafa (East Africa), Wafu (West Africa) – pledged their support for Blatter today.

“The four regions would like to declare our full support to Blatter to be re-elected, so that he takes office again in a new term starting on June 1,” said Unifac president Mahomed Iya.

Blatter added that $144 million (R996 million) would be distributed to the 208 members with each regional member receiving about $550 000 from the profits earned by Fifa in last year’s World Cup. 

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01 Jan 0001

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