FIFA President Sepp Blatter has welcomed the arrest of some top officials of the world football body. “As unfortunate as these events are, it should be clear that we welcome the actions and the investigations by the US and Swiss authorities and believe that it will help to reinforce measures that FIFA has already taken to root out any wrongdoing in football,” Blatter said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Let me be clear: Such misconduct has no place in football and we will ensure that those who engage in it are put out of the game. We will continue to work with the relevant authorities and we will work vigorously within FIFA … to regain your trust.”
Blatter seeks a fifth, four-year term in a contest against Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan on Friday, with European football leaders trying to delay the election.
One person who doesn’t believe FIFA will regain the trust of football fans is Greg Dyke, the chairman of the English Football Association. CNN reports that Dyke’s comments went further than European football’s governing body, UEFA, which called only for a six-month delay in Friday’s scheduled FIFA presidential vote.
Dyke said he was unconvinced by Blatter’s declaration that FIFA can regain the trust of football fans by stepping up efforts to root out corruption. “Blatter has put out a statement saying now is the time to start rebuilding the trust in FIFA – there is no way of rebuilding trust in FIFA while Sepp Blatter is still there,” Dyke said early Thursday in Zurich.
“Sepp Blatter has to go. He either has to go through a resignation, or he has to be out-voted or we have to find a third way. I think the time has come where the damage this has done to FIFA is so great that it can’t be rebuilt while Blatter is there so UEFA has got to try to force him out.”