FIFA's Blatter promises to root out any wrongdoing

Wed May 27, 2015 3:14pm EDT
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By Brian Homewood

ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA chief Sepp Blatter said he was determined to "root out any wrongdoing in football" after seven leading soccer officials were arrested on corruption charges by U.S. and Swiss authorities on Wednesday.

Blatter, who is standing for re-election as FIFA president on Friday, added that the investigations will help to reinforce measures world soccer's governing body has already taken.

"Let me be clear: such misconduct has no place in football and we will ensure that those who engage in it are put out of the game," he added in a statement on FIFA's website (

FIFA has provisionally banned the seven officials arrested on Wednesday from any football-related activities.

"This is a difficult time for football, the fans and for FIFA as an organization," said Blatter, who is expected to be re-elected on Friday when Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan will be his only rival.

"We understand the disappointment that many have expressed and I know that the events of today will impact the way in which many people view us,” said Blatter, who is standing for a fifth term in office.

"As unfortunate as these events are, it should be clear that we welcome the actions and the investigations by the U.S. and Swiss authorities and believe that it will help to reinforce measures that FIFA has already taken to root out any wrongdoing in football.

"While there will be many who are frustrated with the pace of change, I would like to stress the actions that we have taken and will continue to take.   Continued...

FIFA President Sepp Blatter gestures as he addresses a news conference after a meeting of the FIFA executive committee in Zurich March 20, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann