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Blatter hits out at Dyke comments

12 Jun 2014 05:16:52

Blatter hits out at Dyke comments

Sepp Blatter has hit back at attacks from FA chairman Greg Dyke and other European officials, claiming they were the "most disrespectful" thing he had ever experienced.

Dyke had told Blatter at a meeting of UEFA countries on Tuesday his claim that racism was behind World Cup corruption allegations in the British media was "offensive and totally unacceptable".

Dutch FA president Michael van Praag also told Blatter in blunt terms that he should step down from FIFA next year and not stand for a fifth term.

Blatter told a news conference after the FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo: "I have had to accept a number of blows but what I saw and heard at the UEFA meeting was the most disrespectful thing I have experienced in my entire life, on the football pitch and in my home."

Blatter's position has been hugely strengthened however after FIFA delegates dealt a crushing blow to moves to bring in term limits and age limits for officials. It effectively giving the green light to Blatter to stand for re-election next year.

UEFA and a number of European federations, including the FA, had proposed bringing in limits but that was defeated in a vote at FIFA's Congress in Sao Paulo.

The decision leaves the way open for 78-year-old Blatter to stay in office next year - and for many years beyond - and h e made it clear to FIFA's 209 member nations that he intends to stand again.

He told delegates: "The candidature period is not yet open so no one can be a candidate. I know that my mandate will finish next year on June 29 in Zurich - but my mission is not finished.

"And I tell you together we will build the new FIFA together. We have the foundations today. Congress will decide who will take this great institution forward.

"It's a tough decision but I can tell you I am ready to accompany you for the game, for the world - but it is your decision."

The vote on limits came towards the end of a lengthy meeting where Blatter made the light-hearted suggestion that football could one day be played on other planets.

He also told delegates that the governing body was still involved in governance reforms.

He said: "We are still in our reform process but we are at the end," he said.

"Our basic values of football of discipline, respect and fair play could be brought in everywhere in the world then we would have realised our objective, but our objective never finishes.

"From north to west to east and south ... and we shall wonder if one day our game is played on other planets and then one day we won't have the World Cup, we will have interplanetary contests."

Meanwhile former FA chairman Lord Triesman used a speech in the House of Lords to liken FIFA to "a mafia family" and Blatter to Don Corleone.

Blatter refused to respond to Triesman, the initial chairman of England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup who has previously claimed four FIFA members sought bribes in return for votes.

Triesman said: "FIFA, I'm afraid, behaves like a mafia family. It has a decades-long tradition of bribes, bungs and corruption.

"About half of its executive committee who voted on the last World Cup have had to go.

"Even its past president Joao Havelange has been removed from his honorary life presidency in his 90s.

"Systematic corruption underpinned by non-existent investigations where most of the accused are exempt from the investigation make it impossible to proceed.

"Foreign construction workers dying in their dozens in Qatar stadium construction sites are essentially ignored."

Speaking during debate on the Queen's Speech, he applauded the stand taken by current FA chairman Greg Dyke against the "grotesque" accusation by Blatter that criticism was racist.

He told peers: "Don Corleone, I believe, would have recognised the tactics and he probably would have admired them."


PA

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