30 May 2015

Sepp Blatter defiant and not ‘concerned’ about arrest

Sepp Blatter insists he has no concerns about being arrested over any corruption investigation and that he will be personally visiting sponsors to reassure them that Fifa’s reputation is sound.

In a feisty press conference the president of Fifa, Sepp Blatter, came out fighting and took a series of probing questions from journalists head on.

It was his first news conference since a US investigation into corruption reportedly uncovered $150m in bribes.

Blatter, 79, has largely avoided engaging with media this year as he sought re-election. He was re-elected for a fifth four-year term on Friday after winning a closer vote than he would have liked,

When asked if he was the right man to still lead Fifa he said the answer was “very easy”.

“You have seen the results of the Congress yesterday. The Congress they are of the opinion that I am still the man to go into these problems and to solve these problems.”

Blatter was later asked if he had any personal concerns about being arrested. He said:

“Listen, if somebody is making an investigation, they have all right to do so if they do it the correct manner and if they do it as it is usually in the international rights done.

“I have no concerns about that, and I have especially no concerns about my person.”

He also queried a separate journalist who again asked if he was worried about being arrested, by asking “arrested for what?”

The US indictment detailed bribery and racketeering over a 24-year period linked to awarding television rights in North and South America. Seven Fifa officials are in a Zurich jail, with US officials eager to extradite them.

Blatter also criticised David Gill, the newly elected Fifa vide-president for his decision not to serve under him. When asked about Fifa’s relationship with Uefa he said the two organisations needed each other.

He was also asked if he was worried about Fifa’s relationship with sponsors planning to desert football, following the corruption scandal, he said he would personally visit the sponsors to bring them back.

“We had contact with sponsors, we have already had contact last week when such declarations came on, we have exchanged letters and I will tell you we start now bring back the reputation in FIFA and the contact with our sponsors, our partners – I say these are partners because sponsors they only give money but partners it’s give and take, I am sure I will bring back them all in the right situation, and we have already planned a personal visit to the organisation of these sponsors.”

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_GB/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

Sepp Blatter is asked if the recent events of this week will affect the US chances of winning the World Cup 2026 bid? Will he “forgive but not forget” the US support of his opponent?

Posted by Channel 4 News on Saturday, 30 May 2015