Sunday 23 July 2017

'Football has lost' - Luis Figo reacts to Sepp Blatter being elected as FIFA President again

Luis Figo
Luis Figo

Luis Figo insists "football has lost" after Sepp Blatter was re-elected for a fifth term as FIFA president despite widespread calls for him to step down over the corruption scandal engulfing the world governing body.

Blatter saw off the challenge from Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan on Friday in the same week seven FIFA officials were arrested and 18 people connected to football were indicted on corruption charges by the US justice department.

Blatter shrugged off the latest crisis to engulf the organisation to win the first round by 133 votes to 73 and, after Prince Ali decided to withdraw ahead of the second round, the 79-year-old Swiss was installed as FIFA president for another four years.

Figo was hugely critical of Blatter when he withdrew his presidential candidacy last week and launched another scathing attack when news of Blatter's victory emerged on Friday evening.

"Today, FIFA has lost, but above everything, football has lost and everyone who truly cares about it has lost too," the former Portugal and Real Madrid midfielder wrote on Twitter.

Figo pulled out of the race to challenge Blatter's leadership on the same day as Michael van Praag withdrew his candidacy and the Dutch Football Association president was also unequivocal in his disappointment at Friday's outcome.

"We might have lost the battle, but this process is far from over. I will continue to fight for a better FIFA," he tweeted.

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker was just as forthright on the social media website and called on leading football federations to boycott FIFA.

"As predictable as it is depressing. All those FIFA members that voted for Blatter have betrayed the game they are supposed to cherish," the former England captain wrote.

"The only way this revolting organisation will change is if the major football federations walk out. It's time to grow a pair of footballs."

Lineker's boycott calls were echoed by talkSPORT presenters Colin Murray and Stan Collymore.

Murray wrote: "Blatter's re-election no surprise. Now @UEFA @FA @Visa etc time to show you are not just all mouth and no trousers."

Collymore posted: "Embarrassing end to an embarrassing day for an embarrassing organisation.Please @UEFA @FA boycott this shower. It's a bloody disgrace!"

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