Blatter: FIFA cannot be dominated by one continent

Blatter: FIFA cannot be dominated by one continent
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Published August 24th, 2015 - 07:16 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter

Scandal-hit FIFA can never be dominated by one continent, outgoing president Sepp Blatter says.

Without going into details or naming anyone, Blatter said that in the past one continental federation had tried to exert a dominance over the others, using proposed reforms as an attempt to grab the presidency.

“This is the key point which has (taken place) in the past years ... the takeover of one confederation toward the others,” he told a news conference. “But this cannot work in FIFA.”

Blatter did not make clear whether that meant it would never happen or that soccer’s governing body would not survive if it did occur.

He then added: “This was a movement, this was a movement to get back the presidency.”

That remark may have referred to proposals drafted by European soccer’s ruling body UEFA in the mid-1990s for a radical reform of FIFA, which at the time was run by Brazilian Joao Havelange who had been in charge since 1974.

Amid bitter criticism of Havelange, UEFA produced documents known as Vision 1 and Vision 2 with proposals that included rotating FIFA’s presidency.

Blatter’s comments came amid an increasing rift between FIFA and UEFA.

Almost all of Europe’s national associations voted against the Swiss when he was re-elected for a fifth term at the FIFA Congress on May 29.

He won the election against Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein with the backing of votes from Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Blatter announced four days later he would step down as the organization lurched into the worst crisis in its 111-year history with 14 sports marketing executives and soccer officials, including several from FIFA, were indicted in the US on bribery, money laundering and wire fraud charges.

His successor will be elected at an extraordinary Congress on Feb. 26 and UEFA president Michel Platini, who has become a bitter foe of Blatter, is among the candidates.

European media have been critical of the system where each of FIFA’s 209 national associations hold one vote, meaning that four-times world champions Germany hold the same influence as Liechtenstein, the Cook Islands and St. Lucia.

In June, German federation president Wolfgang Niersbach proposed that votes should be weighted, based on “size and sporting relevance of the federations.”

One of Blatter’s achievements as FIFA secretary general and president has been the creation of a match calendar that guarantees a set number of dates for international games each year.

Chung blasts FIFA, Blatter ‘sabotage’

Chung Mong-Joon on Saturday accused FIFA president Sepp Blatter of “interfering” in the race to take control of football’s scandal-hit governing body, claiming his campaign is being sabotaged.

Billionaire industrialist Chung, who is hoping to win the election to succeed Blatter, hit back at German media reports that he had been investigated for trying to influence the awarding of the 2022 World Cup in favor of his native South Korea.

“This is yet another clear proof that President Blatter is interfering in the upcoming FIFA presidential election, just as he has done in past elections,” said a spokesman for Chung on Saturday.

“FIFA is engaged in a self-defeating attempt to sabotage Dr. Chung’s candidacy, following its recent attacks against UEFA president Michel Platini (another candidate).

“President Blatter should stop intervening in the election and resign immediately.”

German newspaper Welt a.m. Sonntag on Friday claimed, without citing a source, that former FIFA vice president Chung tried in 2010 to influence the vote in his home country’s favor in violation of the body’s code of ethics.

In a letter dated October 2010, Chung made an offer to FIFA’s executive committee to create a fund to support various football-related projects to the value of $777 million.

“Chung matched his commitment with a condition — that the World Cup was awarded to South Korea,” Welt a.m. Sonntag reported.

But Chung insisted that his motives were above board and that there was never any danger of him being investigated by FIFA ethics committee.

He claims that the $777 million was set for the Global Football Fund and was widely reported at the time in 2010.

“The Global Football Fund was part of the “Football development” category for which all bidding nations were required to submit proposals,” said Chung’s spokesman.

“Many countries, including England and Qatar submitted plans for football development just as big, if not bigger, than South Korea’s.”

The 2022 World Cup was finally awarded in December 2010 to Qatar.

Copyright: Arab News © 2015 All rights reserved.

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