Sport Soccer

Sunday 23 October 2016

Some of what Sepp has said and done

David Hills

Published 07/06/2015 | 02:30

Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter

Jan 2, 2011: Promises a new Fifa “anti-corruption unit” in response to Swiss government threats. “This unit will strengthen our credibility. I will take care of it personally

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Jan 7, 2011: Clarifies his position after his executive committee expresses “unease”. “This story is absolutely untrue: there will be no ‘new unit’. There’s no need. There is no corruption at Fifa.”

May 2011: Sets out what it will take to restore Fifa’s tainted image — a) more transparency: “I’m fighting to clean Fifa, zero tolerance is my battle horse”, and b) less press scrutiny: “The British press have always been critical. They have a sort of stubbornness.”

He later deals with hecklers at a Fifa HQ press event: “Listen, gentlemen, we are not in a bazaar. We are in Fifa house.”

In 2012, he explains why it’s such a touchy subject: “I just don’t like it when somebody says that there is too much corruption in football. We work hard against ‘so-called’ corruption. So don’t say there is too much corruption in football.”

Oct 2011: Launches Fifa’s new “good governance road map” for “total transparency” — six days before Fifa sells control of Asia’s World Cup TV rights to a firm run by his nephew. Fifa tell the media: “The president was not present when that decision was made.”

2013: Nine years after he urged female players to wear tighter shorts, Sepp announces Fifa’s equality-first agenda. “People criticised us for years, but now I am very happy that we have one full [female] member and have co-opted another two. We call them ladies.”

June 2014: Delivers a keynote speech at Fifa’s congress to an audience of Fifa delegates, all wearing Longines watches worth a total of €120,000. “Football as a catalyst for social change: no football without ethics and integrity.”

July, 2010: In South Africa, reflecting on his impact. “I am a very happy president. You know, I feel we are giving hope to this world, and that perhaps, through football, we can all become better human beings.”

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