Monday, 30 May 2011 22:21 UK
Sepp Blatter has insisted that Fifa is not in crisis,
despite the “great damage” done to its image by ongoing corruption
“Football is not in a crisis, only some difficulties,” said the Fifa
Blatter brushed off suggestions, from the British government among others,
that Wednesday’s presidential election – for which he is the only candidate –
should be suspended.
“If governments try to intervene then something is wrong,” he said.
“I think Fifa is strong enough that we can deal with our problems inside
Blatter, unusually appearing alone at a news conference in Zurich, gave a
defiant display despite the storm surrounding the organisation.
“This was an absolutely extraordinary appearance by Sepp Blatter. Delusional,
one colleague said to me afterwards.
“The phrase that will stick in the mind is: ‘Crisis? What crisis?’ –
reminiscent of that famous newspaper headline during the Winter of Discontent.
“But Blatter is not playing to our audience, he’s playing to the members of
Fifa who he hopes will re-elect him.
“He wouldn’t deal with Mohamed Bin Hammam’s suspension, wouldn’t talk about
Jack Warner and his claims and wouldn’t talk about reopening the World Cup 2022
“After this conference there are so many questions. This is not going away
But he ended the news conference in an angry exchange with a German reporter
and talked of his time working as a journalist, complaining about a lack of
“respect” from some members of the media, warning them: “We are not in a bazaar;
we are in Fifa’s house.”
The 75-year-old Blatter insisted that a Football Association inquiry by
barrister James Dingemans QC looking into ex-FA and bid chairman Lord Triesman’s
claims of alleged Fifa impropriety had “found no elements” which would prompt
the world governing to investigate further.
This despite Dingemans’ report revealing that Fifa executive committee
Nicolas Leoz’s aide had asked for the FA Cup to be named after the Paraguayan
Exco member, who Triesman claimed in Parliament had demanded a knighthood from
England’s 2018 bid.
Fifa has now published
a summary of Dingemans’ report on its website.
Sports minister Hugh Robertson had expressed
the British government’s displeasure at Fifa’s situation last week, calling
for its presidential election to be suspended.
But Blatter argued neither governments nor anyone outside the Fifa membership
could have any bearing on the election process, and vowed to carry on unless
Wednesday’s congress decided otherwise.
“If somebody wants to change something in the election or in the congress of
Wednesday, these are the members of Fifa,” he said.
“This cannot be done by the executive committee, it cannot be done by any
authorities outside of Fifa – it’s only the congress itself that can do it.
“Congress will decide if I am a valid or non-valid candidate.”
Blatter is expected to stand unopposed in an election marred by a torrent of
dissent from within and beyond football’s world governing body.
The only rival candidate to emerge – Mohamed Bin Hammam, president of the
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) – pulled out having been suspended by Fifa’s
own ethics committee over allegations that financial incentives were offered to
Caribbean Football Union members.
Fifa vice-president Jack Warner, himself also suspended on similar grounds,
subsequently revealed an e-mail in which another high-ranking Fifa official,
secretary general Jerome Valcke, suggested Bin Hammam had “bought” the 2022
World Cup finals for Qatar.
Valcke has since attempted to clarify those
remarks and Qatar 2022 itself issued a statement claiming that Valcke’s
words had been “taken out of context” and its bid had been “dragged through the
mud for absolutely no reason”.
Blatter, however, took pains to avoid dealing with the detail of the various
allegations as he faced reporters, saying only: “You should ask [Bin Hammam] why
he pulled out. I was prepared to go into an election process with another
candidate and then the congress would have decided. Now the situation has
These arguments may now begin to damage the organisation’s commercial
interests as, earlier on Monday, two of Fifa’s largest sponsors – Coca-Cola and
Adidas – expressed concern at the widely publicised in-fighting.
“The current allegations being raised are distressing and bad for the sport,”
said a Coca-Cola spokesperson. “We have every expectation that Fifa will resolve
this situation in an expedient and thorough manner.”
An Adidas spokesman said: “The negative tenor of the public debate around
Fifa at the moment is neither good for football nor for Fifa and its
FIFA ROW IN FIGURES
- 35 – Number of nations controlled by Concacaf, from whose
presidency Jack Warner has been suspended
- 75 – Age of Sepp Blatter, current Fifa president and only
candidate for election to the post on Wednesday
- 107 – Years Fifa has been in existence. It celebrated its
birthday on 21 May. Blatter has worked at Fifa for 36 years and held the
presidency since 1998
- 208 – Number of nations represented in the Fifa congress,
which will vote to elect a new president on Wednesday
- 40,000 – Amount, in dollars, Caribbean Football Union (CFU)
leaders are alleged to have been offered to back Mohamed bin Hammam’s
- 360,000 – Cost, in dollars, borne by Bin Hammam to provide
travel and accommodation to 25 CFU members, as detailed in Bin Hammam’s
submission to Fifa’s ethics committee
- 1,000,000 – Cash gift, in dollars, Warner claims Blatter
gave to Concacaf “to spend as it sees fit”
- 2,500,000 – Amount, in pounds, Lord Triesman claimed Warner
wanted from England’s 2018 bid team for an educational project in Trinidad and
Tobago. An inquiry has since cleared Warner
- 29,600,000 – Outlay, in pounds, from Australia on its
unsuccessful bid to host the 2022 World Cup. Australian senator Nick Xenophon
has demanded Fifa refund it in full
Though insistent that the election process and the Qatar World Cup 2022 bid
had not been undermined by recent revelations, Blatter admitted Fifa’s
reputation stands at a low ebb.
“I have tried for years to make Fifa’s reputation the highest possible,” he
said. “I regret what has happened in the last few days and weeks, [causing]
great damage to the image of Fifa and a lot of disappointment for football fans.
“When I entered Fifa 36 years ago, we had no problems. We had no problems
until 1998, this was the so-called ‘very modest’ Fifa. Now we are a
‘comfortable’ Fifa. I think we are too comfortable and some people like that.
“We are in a game and all the little devils can enter the game. We have to
fight against these devils. We have started to fight.
“We are in a very bad situation but, starting on Wednesday, the football
family has the opportunity and they have to take it: if they want to restore the
credibility of Fifa, and if they want to restore it with me.”
As Blatter took to the podium in Zurich, Warner – one of the four members
named by Triesman – issued his own statement welcoming the FA-commissioned
inquiry which exonerated him.
“Today, I regained some hope in the power of truth and transparency,”
Warner’s statement read.
“The report of the independent investigator on the allegations of Lord
Triesman has proven once again that whenever the truth is told, people will
always be able to have their names exonerated.”
Meanwhile, a Conservative MP who sits on the Culture, Media and Sport Select
Committee has called for Wednesday’s Fifa election to be suspended and put
forward his own agenda for the reform of the organisation.
Damian Collins, the MP for Folkestone and Hythe, has worked with the ChangeFifa organisation to set out a
five-point plan, inviting “parliamentarians and elected representatives from all
the nations of the world to register their support”.
Collins calls for the
immediate suspension of the election and an independent inquiry followed by
voting reform, increased transparency regarding decisions taken and Fifa
finances, and limits to the number of terms Fifa members may serve as president
or on the organisation’s executive committee.
China’s Zhang Jilong has assumed temporary charge of the AFC in the wake of
Bin Hammam’s suspension, while Lisle Austin of Barbados is to stand in for
Warner as the president of Concacaf.
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
1577 2312259 44
his path of destiny = 44 = Denial.
Sepp Blatter was born on March 10th, 1936 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sepp_Blatter
March 10th, 1936
3 + 10 +2+0+1+1 = 17 = his personal year (from March 10th, 2011 to March 9th, 2012) = This is going to take a miracle.
17 year + 5 (May) = 22 = his personal month (from May 10th, 2011 to June 9th, 2011) = Three ring circus. Blunders. Folly.
22 month + 30 (30th of the month on Monday May 30th, 2011) = 52 = his personal day = Gossip. Rumors.
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