Re-elected Fifa president Blatter attacks Platini, UEFA, US
Blatter attacks Platini
Re-elected FIFA president Joseph Blatter chaired an executive committee meeting of the ruling football body on Saturday while suggesting conspiracy theories around the tumultuous events of the past days and the election itself.
The Exco was to decide on the distribution on confederation slots for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. The qualifying draw for the 2018 tournament in Russia is on July 25.
Not present at the Exco meeting was English member David Gill, who had said from the outset that he would not work in the committee if Blatter was re-elected.
Also absent was vice-president Jeffrey Webb of the Cayman Islands, suspended from FIFA after being among seven officials arrested Wednesday in connection with a US-led corruption investigation, and Brazilian member Marco Polo del Nero, who flew home after compatriot Jose Maria Marin was also among the detained.
Europe is at odds with Blatter ever since he decided to run again for the presidency, and UEFA backed his rival Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, even more after Wednesday's events which also saw the official start of a Swiss investigation into the World Cup host election for 2018 and 2022.
Blatter told Swiss TV network RTS in an interview late Friday that UEFA and its president Michel Platini have been against him ever since he beat then UEFA president Lennart Johansson for the FIFA presidency in 1998.
Blatter spoke of "hatred that doesn't come from one person alone at UEFA, but from UEFA as an organization that didn't understand that I became president in 1998."
Platini had urged Blatter on Thursday to step down, and Blatter suggested that this and the arrests two days before the congress and the election were "no coincidence."
"There are signs: The Americans were candidates for the 2022 World Cup and lost," Blatter said.
He also sensed a connection between the United States and Jordan, Prince Ali's home country.
"You shouldn't forget that they (the US) are the main sponsors of the Hashemite kingdom, of my opponent. This thing doesn't smell good," Blatter said.
"I forgive anyone, but I don't forget," he warned.