Europeans lead outcry over latest FIFA scandal

Wed May 27, 2015 12:25pm EDT
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By Steve Tongue

(Reuters) - Leading figures from across European soccer voiced dismay on Wednesday over the latest scandal to engulf FIFA, the game's powerful governing body, with many of them calling for its presidential election set for Friday to be postponed.

The world's most popular sport was plunged into turmoil after U.S. and Swiss authorities announced inquiries into FIFA's activities. Seven of the most powerful figures in the game face extradition to the United States on corruption charges after being arrested in Switzerland.

Wolfgang Niersbach, president of the German football federation (DFB), told reporters: "It is shocking and damaging for the (whole of) football what is going on in Zurich. It would be shocking if these serious allegations against FIFA members are correct."

Niersbach is set to become a representative of UEFA on the FIFA Executive Committee on Friday.

His compatriot Reinhard Rauball, president of the German football league (DFL), said in a statement that Friday's election, which had been expected to hand reigning president Sepp Blatter his fifth term in office, should be delayed.

"Today’s revelations exceed every level of imagination," he said.

"It would be the absolutely wrong signal if under the impact of these developments the agenda of the FIFA Congress is processed as planned.

"One cannot just go over to the daily agenda. If these accusations turn out to be true then they would rock FIFA and the entire world football to its foundations.   Continued...

Members of the media walk in front of the headquarters of soccer's international governing body FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland, May 27, 2015. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich