LONDON - Embattled FIFA president Sepp
Blatter has turned to opera singer Placido Domingo to help
restore the tarnished image of football's world governing body.
The Spanish-born tenor will form part of a "solutions
committee" which also includes former U.S. Secretary of State
Henry Kissinger and former Netherlands forward Johan Cruyff.
"These gentlemen are more or less advisers. They are not the
experts but advisers, and what they should be also is the kind
of council of wisdom - which my executive committee would not
like because they think they are the council of wisdom,"
Blatter, who was voted in unopposed for a fourth term as
president last week, told CNN in an interview on Monday.
"Placido Domingo will be part - he is happy, he is proud
that he is part - as Kissinger also! People say he (Kissinger)
is an old man, but he is a wise man."
Blatter secured another four years in charge of FIFA after a
vote in Zurich on Wednesday and immediately pushed through
changes intended to make the choice of World Cup hosts more
democratic and beef up the fight against corruption.
The crisis that has engulfed FIFA recently centred on Asian
Football Confederation (AFC) chief Mohamed Bin Hammam's
ultimately aborted campaign to take on Blatter in the election.
It also re-ignited the debate over the awarding of the 2022
World Cup to Bin Hammam's home country Qatar.
Bin Hammam was provisionally suspended by FIFA over bribery
allegations along with FIFA vice-president Jack Walker while a
leaked email written to Walker by FIFA secretary general Jerome
Valcke suggested Qatar had "bought the World Cup."
Valcke later clarified his comment, saying Qatar had merely
used its financial muscle to lobby support. Qatar has denied any
The 75-year-old Blatter said his newly-formed committee
would decide whether Qatar's winning bid needed to be examined.
"Let me work now on this new approach of the ethics
committee, let me work with this committee of solutions," he
"And if this committee of solutions or the ethics
committee have the impression that they should do something then
let them take the decisions."
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