Crisis? Fifa is not in crisis, insists president Sepp Blatter

Fifa chief is as defiant as ever but concedes that the world governing body has an image problem

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta

fifa president sepp blatter

Sepp Blatter insists that Fifa is not in crisis but admits that the world governing body’s reputation has taken a battering in recent weeks.

“Football is not in a crisis,” said the Fifa president at an extraordinary news conference in Zurich. “We are only in some difficulty and our problems must be solved within our family.”

“I regret what has happened in the last few days and weeks – great damage has been done to the image of Fifa.

“We are in a bad situation but we have the opportunity to restore the credibility of Fifa at Wednesday’s congress.”

Blatter added: “We will try and change more in the future. We will reinforce the ethics committee.

“I have not chosen the members of my executive committee. I have to deal with the personalities that are there and I try to do my best.”

A defiant Blatter also quashed suggestions that Wednesday’s presidential election should be postponed in the light of the recent allegations of corruption within the organisation.

“I regret what has happened in the last few days and weeks – great damage has been done to the image of Fifa in recent days”
Fifa president Sepp Blatter

The 75-year-old, who is seeking a fourth term as Fifa chief, also revealed that the governing body has no plans to take any action following allegations made by former Football Association chairman Lord Triesman.

“The executive committee of Fifa was very pleased to receive the report of the FA regarding the allegations made by Lord Triesman at the House of Commons,” he continued.

“We were happy that we can confirm there are no elements in this report which would even prompt any proceedings.”

Blatter then had a heated exchange with a German reporter as the news conference was brought to an end with some journalists having voiced their anger at not being permitted to ask a question.

Earlier, Mohamed bin Hammam, who withdrew from the Fifa presidential election on Sunday to leave Blatter as the only candidate ahead of Wednesday’s vote, confirmed that he will appeal his suspension from the organisation.

The former presidential candidate was suspended by Fifa in the wake of allegations that he and Jack Warner had offered bribes to delegates at a Caribbean Football Union meeting in Trinidad.

A statement from Bin Hammam read: “Mohamed Bin Hammam will not accept yesterday’s decision by the Fifa ethics committee.

“As he is only allowed to appeal against the motivated decision by the Fifa ethics committee, he urgently requested this by Tuesday to be able to file his appeal in due time and to revoke the provisional ban before Wednesday’s congress is starting.”

The 61st Fifa congress gets under way in Zurich on Tuesday ahead of the presidential election, scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Fifa presidents

1) Robert Guérin (1904-1906) – France
2) Daniel Burley Woolfall (1906-1918) – England
3) Jules Rimet (1921-1954) – France
4) Rodolphe Seeldrayers (1954-1955) – Belgium
5) Arthur Drewry (1955-1961) – England
6) Stanley Rous (1961-1974) – England
7) João Havelange (1974-1998) – Brazil
8) Sepp Blatter (1998-Incumbent) – Switzerland

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