[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: