Paris: Tennis superstars Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray waded into the great football corruption scandal Thursday, suggesting the game would be better served without FIFA chief Sepp Blatter's iron grip on power.
Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. Pics/AFP
Nadal, who is the nephew of former Spanish international Miguel Angel Nadal, believes that for Blatter to have been FIFA president since 1998 breeds an unhealthy environment in the sport.
"My thought is it is good to have combinations, in politics, in sport, in the world in general," said Nadal at the French Open on Thursday. "It's good to have the right people in every place. It's good to have people who know about what they are doing, in football, in tennis, in countries. "I cannot say that if you are in the same place for a long time you will not be honest, but it's true that history says that is easier to be honest if you are in shorter periods of time.
"You are there and you come back later. The alternating is good in every place of the world, I think." Blatter faces a re-election vote at the FIFA Congress in Zurich on Friday, having insisted on Thursday that would not resign despite growing calls for him to do so. Britain's third seed Murray echoed Nadal's words, after his straight sets win over Portugal's Joao Sousa, saying that the corruption charges aimed at FIFA officials this week had not been totally unexpected.
"I've seen the stories, but I wouldn't say that many people were surprised by it," he said. "I don't know what's going to happen over the next few days. But when I read the stories, I haven't had anyone come up to me and say it was very surprising. "But I think it's good for sport in a way when that stuff happens, because people have kind of talked about it for a long time. "People have suggested that there was some corruption going on there. So now they are going to do a proper investigation into it and see what happens after that."