Defiant Blatter: 'I cannot monitor everyone'

FIFA president Sepp Blatter spoke on Thursday for the first time since the raids of Wednesday morning by Swiss police in coordination with the FBI. Opening the FIFA Congress in Zurich, he said the indictments against 14 FIFA officials and sports executives brought shame and humiliation to soccer but rejected calls to step down ahead of Friday's election at which he is expected to re-elected to a fifth term.

"We cannot allow the reputation of football to be dragged through the mud and it has to stop here, now," he said. "Many people hold me ultimately responsible for the global football community. I cannot monitor everyone all the time. If people want to do wrong, they will also try to hide it. It must fall to me to bear the responsibility for the reputation and well-being of our organization and to find a way forward to fix things."

Blatter continues to hold support from his traditional power bases in Asia and Africa. But UEFA is expected to vote almost overwhelmingly for Prince Ali of Jordan, the only opponent left in the race. Its president, Michael Platini, called for Blatter to resign.

"I have had enough," he said. "Enough is enough, too much is too much."

In perhaps the strongest public statement of dissatisfaction with FIFA from its sponsors, Visa said it would reassess its support if changes weren't made.

CONCACAF. With Concacaf president Jeffrey Webb provisionally suspended by FIFA and Concacaf from all soccer activities for 90 days, Concacaf named Honduran Alfredo Hawit as acting president.

U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati, Mexican federation president Justino Compean and CSA president Victor Montagliani have been named to a committee charged with "evaluating and sustaining" the confederation's business affairs.

Hawit, Concacaf's most senior vice president, has been charged with running Concacaf on a temporary basis for the second time. He was named interim president after Jack Warner's exit in 2011.

The executive committee also placed general secretary Enrique Sanz, who is battling leukemia, on a leave of absence to begin immediately, and named deputy general secretary Ted Howard has been appointed as acting general secretary. Howard had been acting general secretary after the resignation of Chuck Blazer and before Sanz's hiring. Sanz was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Federal indictment handed down in Brooklyn, accused of participating in Webb's scheme to take millions of dollars in kickbacks from Traffic, Sanz's former employer.

“While we are profoundly disappointed by the allegations made by authorities that again, Concaacf has been the victim of fraud, we remain committed to Concacaf’s goal to develop, promote and manage the game of soccer,” Hawit said. “We have now taken the appropriate steps to maintain our operations and continue to deliver on our commitments to all of our constituents, including our fans, members as well as commercial and broadcast partners. We also continue to cooperate with the ongoing investigation by governmental authorities, which have not placed any restrictions on our ongoing activities.”

-- In a statement, the Costa Rican federation, whose president Eduardo Li was among those arrested, issued a statement that it would not vote for Blatter.

9 comments about "Defiant Blatter: 'I cannot monitor everyone'".
  1. Edgar Soudek, May 28, 2015 at 2:16 p.m.

    It is an old adage:"the Fish stinks from the Head". Blatter is the head and like ALL POWERFUL SWISS (remember Nazi-Gold in Swiss Banks?) is completely corrupt; if he had a shred of decency he would resign!

  2. Michael Saunders, May 28, 2015 at 2:20 p.m.

    Blatter would make Machiavelli proud. I am always amazed how a "Prince", be it a head of state, company, or association, is so apt at insulating himself when wrongdoing suddenly exposes him. I am not one to seek to declare anyone guilty by association, yet this man should resign or withdraw from the election for the good of the game or one would hope that the member federations would repudiate his attempt at reelection. Perhaps UEFA should consider something more radical such as boycotting the election or threaten to secede from FIFA itself. Bottom line this has been going on for near 25 years, most of it under Blatter's watch. Time for a change.

  3. Santiago 1314, May 28, 2015 at 3:04 p.m.

    UEFA and USA, Canada, Mexico (No Corruption There LOL) should pull out, if Blatter wins...They shouldn't gave messed with Sunil... Don't forget he is Really a Finance Professor at Columbia University. .. He knew where Blazer had all the Money Buried... Watch the Dominoes FALL...Timmmmberrrrr Herr Blatter, It's just a matter of Time

  4. Soccer Madness, May 28, 2015 at 3:33 p.m.

    Santiago, absolutely

  5. Kevin Sims, May 28, 2015 at 4:43 p.m.

    What Blatter blather! Know when you are dealing with an idiot? When that person assumes all others are idiots. Even if we are naive enough to think Blatter has behaved himself, such corruption on his watch is reason enough for his ouster, voluntarily or involuntarily.

  6. Kenneth Barr, May 28, 2015 at 5:21 p.m.

    When will FIFA release the Garcia Report? If they refuse, the US DOJ should subpoena it immediately. They should also request the testimony of Mr. Garcia, a former US Attorney, and schedule him for a deposition as soon as possible.

  7. James Froehlich, May 29, 2015 at 12:29 a.m.

    According to the New York. Times, AG Lynch has said that the next step will be an investigation into the selection of Russia and Qatar. Don't relax yet 'Blatter-boy'!!!

  8. Mike Jacome, May 29, 2015 at 11:39 a.m.

    It's amazing how these skunks, and the main big skunk being Blatter himself were so confident that they were untouchables. FIFA needs to be disbanded.

  9. Allan Lindh, May 29, 2015 at 7:16 p.m.

    Time to just form a new federation, led by UEFA, US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and any other countries that will adopt complete transparency in their proceedings and fiances. Hold an alternate WC in 2018. If UEFA doesn't want to throw it in Russia's face, hold it in Australia. Announce now, and see the sponsors leave FIFA like sinking ship. And put an end to one country, one vote -- just guarantee's corruption, with so many small poor countries that can't turn down big money. Let decisions be made by an executive council, members chosen by Federations, number of members from each dependent on how countries fared in last WC, every Federation to get at least one. And penalties for corruption not to be levied against people, but against countries, as it is now for cheating on age, etc. Getting kicked out of next WC will sober people up when it comes to choosing honest people to represent them.

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications