الإثنين , أغسطس 17 2020

Angry Blatter ready to stand again

Sepp Blatter has indicated he wants to seek a fifth term as Fifa president and called Uefa “disrespectful” after calls for his resignation.

He has been widely criticised over the damage

corruption allegations

have caused football’s governing body.

But the 78-year-old Swiss said he was angered by calls by his European counterparts for him to quit.

“This was the most disrespectful thing I’ve ever experienced in my entire life,” he said at Fifa’s congress.

Ahead of the 2014 World Cup, which starts in Brazil on Thursday, Blatter said “his mission is not finished” after Fifa decided not to impose an age limit nor maximum terms for officials.

Meanwhile, he floated a new proposal for matches where managers would be allowed two challenges to refereeing decisions during a match with immediate television reviews.

Any such plan would need to be approved by the International Football Association Board.

Managers’ challenge proposal

Sepp Blatter used his closing address in Sao Paulo to call for the potential introduction of allowing football managers to make interventions on contentious calls during a game.

The idea, if implemented, would allow a manager if he disagreed with a decision to ask for an immediate TV review by the referee.

Blatter said challenges should be limited to two per match.

It would require ratification by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the guardians of the laws of the game.

With continuing controversy over Qatar’s successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup, Blatter has come in for increasing criticism.

On Tuesday, he faced calls from Football Association chairman Greg Dyke and a number of senior European members to keep to his 2011 pledge and step down next year.

However, Blatter was greeted with applause as he gave his closing remarks at Fifa’s annual congress on Wednesday.

“I know that my mandate will finish next year on 29 May in Zurich, but my mission is not finished,” he said.

“We will build the new Fifa together. We have the foundations today because we have the budget for the next four years.

“Congress you will decide who takes this great institution forward. But I can tell you I am ready to accompany you in the future.”

At the annual congress, investigator Michael Garcia said he has already reviewed the majority of the files obtained by the Sunday Times as part of his long-running investigation into the Qatar 2022 World Cup bid.

The New York lawyer announced last week that he

would not extend the investigation beyond 9 June

after the British newspaper published a series of articles based on a huge leak of secret emails and documents.

That prompted fears he was ignoring evidence that The Sunday Times claimed was proof that former Qatari football chief Mohamed Bin Hammam helped secure the 2022 World Cup for the Gulf state through secret deals and favours.

But Garcia told Fifa’s congress on Wednesday: “No-one should assume what information we have or do not have.

“The vast majority of that material has been available for us for some time, long before the recent wave of media reports.

“We have gone to what appears to us to be the original source of that data and we are confident that we will have full access to whatever else may be in that data set and we will review that data for anything else relevant prior to issuing any final report.”

Blatter is seen on a big screen as he delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the 64th Fifa Congress

Blatter is seen on a big screen as he delivers a speech during the 64th Fifa Congress

Garcia also revealed that, over the last six months, he has spoken to representatives of every bid team involved in the joint bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

He said he and his team have “spoken to or attempted to speak to” every member of the Fifa executive committee who voted in the election in December 2010, whether they remain active football officials or not.

This would appear to suggest that Garcia has attempted to interview Bin Hammam, even though the former Fifa vice-president was banned from football for life for his part in another bribery scandal in 2011.

Garcia, a former US district attorney, is expected to hand over his report to Fifa’s adjudicatory chamber in the next six weeks.

Blatter said last week that he expected a summary of Garcia’s findings to be made public in the autumn.

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