Blatter: bribery report means that heads will roll


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Sepp Blatter has admitted that more of the Executive Committee (Ex-Co) that oversees Fifa could be forced out of office next month when details of the ISL bribe case are released.

The legal settlement from the collapse a decade ago of the Swiss marketing firm with links to football's governing body is believed to name names of senior Fifa members alleged to have taken bribes, including Paraguayan Nicolas Leoz. Fifa has promised the settlement will be published when the Ex-Co meets in Tokyo next month. Ricardo Teixeira (right), the Brazilian in charge of the 2014 World Cup and, like Leoz, an Ex-Co member, and Cameroon's Issa Hayatou, a Fifa vice-president and another Ex-Co member, were accused of accepting bribes by BBC's Panorama. Leoz, Hayatou and Teixeira deny it.

When questioned about the probable fallout from publication of the documents, Blatter said: "It does look like some people won't be able to stay on the Executive Committee. We'll do it publicly and we'll ask an independent body to judge the documents."

Blatter also used the interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung yesterday to reiterate the point that no Swiss nationals are among those named. "Those hunting me and suggesting that Sepp Blatter is on the list are plain wrong," he said. A switch of focus from the 75-year-old Swiss to elsewhere in the embattled governing body is no doubt part of the driving force for his candour – he has so far brazened out Anglo-centric calls for his resignation over his comments on racism in football – and he also denied that he can be blamed for the problems within the 24-strong Ex-Co.

He said: "The members are elected by the six confederations. That way I get people in my government from various cultures and social milieus. They also have varying concepts of ethics and morals. I didn't choose them and I can't be held accountable for their actions. I'm the figurehead of this organisation but I'm not a dictator."

Four members of the Ex-Co have been banned or quit over the last year. Three are linked with the looming scandal and Worawi Makudi is the subject of an investigation that he improperly used Fifa funding. Blatter said of the Thai: "We have asked him for an explanation regarding one of our projects. It's about our money. We received information from Thailand that the project would be constructed on land that we had paid for which apparently already belonged to him."