FIFA cannot be dominated by one continent, warns Blatter

Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:43am EDT
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By Brian Homewood

ULRICHEN, Switzerland,(Reuters) - Scandal-hit FIFA can never be dominated by one continent, outgoing president Sepp Blatter said on Saturday.

Without going into details or naming anyone, Blatter said that in the past one continental federation had tried to exert a dominance over the others, using proposed reforms as an attempt to grab the presidency.

"This is the key point which has (taken place) in the past years ... the takeover of one confederation towards the others," he told a news conference. "But this cannot work in FIFA."

Blatter did not make clear whether that meant it would never happen or that soccer's governing body would not survive if it did occur.

He then added: "This was a movement, this was a movement to get back the presidency".

That remark may have referred to proposals drafted by European soccer's ruling body UEFA in the mid-1990s for a radical reform of FIFA, which at the time was run by Brazilian Joao Havelange who had been in charge since 1974.

Amid bitter criticism of Havelange, UEFA produced documents known as Vision 1 and Vision 2 with proposals that included rotating FIFA's presidency. Blatter's comments came amid an increasing rift between FIFA and UEFA.


FIFA President Sepp Blatter gestures before the first game of the so-called "Sepp Blatter tournament" in Blatter's home-town Ulrichen, Switzerland, August 22, 2015.  REUTERS/Denis Balibouse