Monday 19 February 2018

Blatter 'aims to restore trust'

Fifa President Sepp Blatter has stayed out of public view
Fifa President Sepp Blatter has stayed out of public view

Fifa president Sepp Blatter said he intends to help restore trust in world football after a pair of corruption investigations brought "shame and humiliation" on the sport.

Mr Blatter spoke publicly for the first time since the corruption scandals broke yesterday and threw Fifa into crisis ahead of tomorrow's presidential election.

He blamed the "actions of individuals" and said corruption "has to be stopped now" to prevent Fifa's reputation from being "dragged through the mud".

Mr Blatter rejected demands from European association Uefa that he resign. He is expected to win a fifth term in the election against Prince Ali of Jordan.

American and Swiss authorities are pursuing separate federal investigations into racketeering and the 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes.

Though Mr Blatter told Fifa's 209 member federations that events "demand change from us all", he said he intends to continue leading the organisation through its problems.

"I know many people hold me ultimately responsible for the actions and reputation of the global football community, whether it's a decision for the hosting of a World Cup or a corruption scandal," Mr Blatter said.

"We, or I, cannot monitor everyone all of the time. If people want to do wrong, they will also try to hide it."

He said he had a responsibility "for the reputation and well-being of our organisation - and to find the way forward to fix things".

Mr Blatter added he expects more bad news to follow.

He also said football officials work "not for greed, not for exploit(ation), not for power but because of love for the game".

Press Association

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