FIFA faces more bad news, warns President Sepp Blatter

Zurich: FIFA president Sepp Blatter said yesterday that the scandal-tainted football body faces "more bad news" and that officials accused of corruption had brought shame and humiliation on the organisation.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter
FIFA president Sepp Blatter 

But the 79-year-old Swiss official told the opening of FIFA's annual congress he could not be blamed for the latest controversy to hit the body saying he could not "monitor" every official.

"The next few months will not be easy for FIFA. I am sure more bad news will follow but it is necessary to begin to restore trust," he said.

Blatter called the scandals "unprecedented" and that the "actions of individuals bring shame and humiliation on football and demand action and change from us all".

Key Questions about Sepp's reign

After 18 people were indicted or arrested by US authorities on Wednesday, PA Sport answers some key questions about how the probe and arrests could affect the embattled FIFA president, who will bid to retain his position for a fifth term today in Zurich...

Q. Can any of the allegations of fraud, bribery and money laundering connected to Sepp Blatter?
A. Not in the sense that he has done anything illegal — but he and FIFA can certainly be held accountable for the kind of poor governance that allowed this culture of corruption to flourish.

Q. What kind of poor governance are we talking about?
A. Disgraced former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner — one those indicted by the FBI — has claimed Blatter gave him World Cup TV rights to sell on for just a dollar, in return for helping him be elected as president. That would be a resignation issue in just about any other organisation. Bribe money was also channelled through a FIFA account authorised by a "high-ranking FIFA official".

Q. What happens now? Will the FIFA presidential election take place today?
A. FIFA insists it will take place but there is a mood among some associations that it should be postponed.

Q. Can Sepp Blatter really survive this?
A. Blatter is a great survivor and has survived huge scandals in the past, and his power-base will probably remain intact. The bigger question is whether at the age of 79 he has the energy to stand the heat.

Q. What about the 2018 and 2022 World Cups?
A. Separate criminal proceedings have been launched by the Swiss attorney general into the votes for these tournaments and 10 FIFA executive committee members will be questioned by Swiss police this week.

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