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Blatter: Crisis? What is a crisis?
by Paul Kennedy, May 29th, 2011 1:01PM

TAGS:  fifa


[FIFA IN CRISIS] A day after he was cleared of ethics charges and two days after his rival for the FIFA presidency, Mohamed Bin Hammam, threw in the towel, you would have expected 75-year-old Sepp Blatter to be in a good mood. But he was far from it during a stormy press conference on Monday that showed how bad relations had become between the embattled FIFA president and largely British contingent in the international media.

"Crisis? What is a crisis?" Blatter said. "Football is not in a crisis."

He went on to refer to Saturday's Champions League final between Barcelona and Manchester United.

"We are not in a crisis," he continued. "We are only in some difficulties and these will be solved inside our family."

Blatter spoke a day after Concacaf President Jack Warner, bin Hammam and two Caribbean Football Union officials were suspended by a FIFA ethics committee pending a full investigation into charges that Warner and bin Hammam plotted to win votes for bin Hammam's president bid against Blatter by offering CFU members $40,000 apiece.

Two other members of the FIFA executive committee, Nigerian Amos Adamu and Tahitian Reynald Temarii, were suspended last fall for discussing bribes in relation to the bids for the 2022 World Cup.

There have been widespread rumors that Qatar bribed members of the FIFA executive committee to win the right to host the 2022 World Cup, but nothing has been substantiated.  FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke -- its CEO -- added fuel to the fire when Warner quoted him as saying in an email to Warner Qatar "bought" the 2022 World Cup.

But Blatter, believed to have voted for the USA in the final round of voting that Qatar won 14-8, said he had no issue with Qatar 2022.

"I believe that the decision taken for the World Cup in 2022 was done exactly in the same pattern and in the same way as the 2018 tournament," he said.

The 2018 World Cup will be played in Russia, Blatter's choice.

The Monday press conference ended in confusion as Blatter demanded respect from the journalists whom he contended were causing "problems."

"We are not in a bazaar," he said. "We are in FIFA's house."

Blatter press conference:

  1. Margaret Manning
    commented on: May 29, 2011 at 10:29 p.m.
    Oh yeah, then there's our pathetic response to THIS character, a corrupt egomaniac that everyone (except the British) seems afraid to challenge.
  1. Kenneth Barr
    commented on: May 29, 2011 at 11:08 p.m.
    The British? Maybe Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but the English FA have nothing to say. They so badly bungled the Wembley project that they needed the overpriced Champions League final and many more events like it to make up for their financial stupidity. Let's face it, there isn't a single major international sport governing body, not the IOC, FIBA, IAAF, skating, bicycling and on and on federation that isn't in it for the money and only for the money. FIFA is no different and the English FA is certainly no different. Lord Triesman is a right one to throw stones, given his shocking behavior while FA Chair. At least Blatter got Europoe to allow other countries other than theirs to host World Cups, reducing their hosting from every other one to once every three. He also championed South Africa when everyone was crying. World Cup 2010 went off far better than most everyone thought and it was Blatter, almost alone, who kept faith.
  1. David Huff
    commented on: May 31, 2011 at 6:10 p.m.
    Oh no Sepp, FIFA is not in a bazaar but more like in a . . . "bizarre" manner of operating under the crushing burden of its continuing problems of corruption. FIFA better clean ups its act soon or we will need a new world governing body when it comes to football/soccer.

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