Sepp Blatter hits out at corruption allegations
Published 17/08/2015 | 19:50
Outgoing president Sepp Blatter has hit out at potential successor Dr Chung Mong-Joon for labelling FIFA "a corrupt organisation".
Blatter called Chung's comments "disturbing", and pointed out the South Korean businessman was FIFA vice-president and an emergency committee member for 17 years.
"It is disturbing, to say the least, to hear Dr Chung Mong-Joon describe FIFA as 'a corrupt organisation' during a press conference announcing his candidacy to the next election for the FIFA presidency," Blatter said in a statement released by FIFA.
"Even more so when one recalls - and as Dr Chung cannot have forgotten - that he was a FIFA vice-president and a FIFA emergency committee member for 17 years from 1994 up until 2011.
"Regarding personal attacks made by Dr Chung at the same event, I will not comment further than to say that this is particularly disrespectful to all concerned.
"I would like to stress again that FIFA is dedicated to improving the organisation and will continue to strengthen its governance and accountability. Our work in this area continuously evolves, and we are focused on achieving the highest standards for the international football community."
Chung officially launched his presidency bid in Paris earlier on Monday, and made several references to the corruption scandal.
"Today FIFA is undergoing a profound crisis," the 63-year-old former president of the South Korean football association was quoted as saying at his press conference in the French capital.
"Under these circumstances, the new FIFA president should be a crisis manager and a reformer. He must be more than just a head of the technical department. The core issue of the coming election is whether the 40-year-old system of corruption should continue or not.
"Organisations begin to corrupt, and the leader thinks he is indispensable."
He added: "The problem at FIFA is that those mired in corruption, the only thing they are interested in is hiding the corruption.
"The real reason FIFA has become such a corrupt organisation is because the same person has been running it for 40 years. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Chung also said fellow presidential candidate, UEFA president Michel Platini, should not get the top job because he did not recognise the extent of the problem within the organisation.
"Michel Platini was a great player and he is my friend," Chung said. "His problem is that he does not seem to understand the seriousness of the corruption crisis at FIFA."
Swiss Blatter, who has been FIFA president since 1998, will stand down in February amid two separate corruption inquiries related to the administration of football's world governing body.