BERNE - FIFA President Sepp Blatter
has echoed comments by his vice president Julio Grondona
that England was always the source of accusations against football's governing body.
Blatter, re-elected unopposed on Wednesday for a fourth
term, joked that he had "cauliflower ears" from the criticism
that rained down on FIFA over the past few weeks.
"I have strengthened my will to fight because I'm convinced
that much, or most, of what FIFA has been accused is not
correct," he said in an interview with Switzerland's
"Astonishingly, it always comes from the same corners... the English FA president (David Bernstein) said almost
tearfully: 'It gives me no pleasure to say this.' So why did he
say it, then?
Argentina's Grondona launched an astonishing attack on
England during Wednesday's FIFA Congress it had been complaining
since 1974 when Stanley Rous lost the presidency to Joao
Havelange. He also accused British media of publishing lies.
An English FA proposal to cancel Wednesday's election was
Blatter, who said on Wednesday that there would be no
recriminations against England, pointed out that UEFA President
Michel Platini was also unopposed when he was re-elected in
"Have a quick look back at how the president of UEFA and
other confederations were elected and how many candidates there
were," he said.
"FIFA is not corrupt. I cannot start with the word corrupt.
Someone is only corrupt when he is been found guilty.
"I have been given good a beating and I have two cauliflower
Blatter again distanced himself from his 24-man executive
committee, saying it would not have accepted the reforms passed
by Congress - at which each of the 208 member associations has
one vote - on Wednesday.
"I had to wait until I had the right platform for them,
which was Congress. I have always said that my partners in FIFA
are the national associations, who choose me.
"In the executive are people who are chosen by the
confederations. After two members were suspended in November, I
knew I must do something."
Four executive committee members have been suspended - two
in November and two more last Sunday, who have been
provisionally banned pending further investigations.
Blatter said he had still to decide what to do about
secretary general Jerome Valcke over an email to an executive
committee member in which he said that Qatar "bought" the right
to host the 2022 World Cup.
"I have already said I would deal with this after the FIFA
Congress," he said.
Valcke has said he was the author of the email but denied he
had accused Qatar of corruption.
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