Skip to main content

Blatter denies FIFA in crisis and will seek fourth term in charge

By the CNN Wire Staff
Click to play
What crisis? Five Blatter highlights
  • FIFA president Sepp Blatter shrugs off allegations of corruption in his organization
  • "We are not in a crisis" the 75-year-old Swiss tells press conference
  • Blatter will be pressing ahead with his bid for a fourth term as president
  • FIFA Congress will vote Wednesday with Blatter sole candidate

(CNN) -- A defiant Sepp Blatter shrugged off allegations of corruption within FIFA Monday and said he would press ahead with his bid to be re-elected as president of football's world governing body for the fourth time.

Blatter will be the sole candidate in Wednesday's election in Zurich after Qatari Mohamed Bin Hammam, the only person standing against him, was suspended by the FIFA ethics committee Sunday, along with fellow leading official Jack Warner.

"We are not in a crisis, we are only in some difficulties and these can be solved inside our family," Blatter told a press conference Monday where he was continually pressed on both his own position and wider allegations of wrongdoing within FIFA.

"FIFA is strong enough to deal with our own problems," he asserted when asked if he had considered postponing Wednesday's vote by the 208-member FIFA Congress.

Was Blatter right to be defiant?

We are not in a crisis, we are only in some difficulties and these can be solved inside our family
--Sepp Blatter
  • FIFA
  • FIFA World Cup
  • Football

Blatter also ruled out a new vote on the venue for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

"There is no issue for the World Cup in 2022," the 75-year-old Swiss said.

"I believe that the decision taken for the World Cup in 2022 was done exactly in the same pattern and in the same way as the 2018 tournament."

Bin Hamman, who led the Qatar bid, said earlier Monday that he would appeal his suspension.

"I am punished before I am found guilty," Bin Hammam said in a statement, saying he would "not accept" the decision.

Blatter, who was cleared by the ethics committee, did admit that the whole affair had affected FIFA's reputation.

"What has happened in the last few days and weeks. It has done great damage to the image of FIFA," he said.

The press conference was conducted in an acrimonious atmosphere as frustrated journalists shouted out questions.

"We're not in a bazaar here, we are in an important congress," retorted Blatter at one point.

It rounded off an extraordinary day of accusation and counter accusation, with CONCACAF chief Warner the focal point.

"At the end of the day, Blatter has to be stopped," Warner told gathered reporters, clearly angered by his expulsion from FIFA's executive committee.

Warner also released an email to reporters which implied that FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke believed there was corruption involved in Qatar's successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup.

"He thought he could buy FIFA as they bought the World Cup," Warner claims Valcke said of Bin Hammam in the email.

Qatar's football association Monday "categorically denied any wrongdoing" in connection with its bid, and said it was consulting lawyers and "urgently seeking clarification from FIFA" about the alleged Valcke comments.

Valcke, who is not accused of ethics violations and is not under any investigation, admitted sending the email, but said his comments had been taken out of context.