Sepp Blatter claims he 'can't monitor everyone all the time' as Fifa president blames corruption charges on 'action of individuals'

Blatter is up for re-election as Fifa's president on Friday two day's after 14 current and former Fifa members were arrested on corruption charges

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The Independent Online

Sepp Blatter has blamed the "action of individuals" for the corruption scandal that has rocked Fifa on the eve of the presidential election that will see him bid for a fifth term in charge of world football, and claimed that he "can't monitor everyone all of the time".

Fifa are currently facing a crisis following the arrest of 14 current and former officials in relation to a dual investigation by the United States’ FBI and Swiss prosecutors. Seven current Fifa members were arrested in Zurich on Wednesday on corruption charges and face extradition to the US.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Fifa Congress in Zurich, Mr Blatter welcomed guests before addressing the indictment of vice-president Jeffrey Webb and 13 others that he is or used to work alongside.

 

"These are unprecedented and difficult times for Fifa,” said Mr Blatter. “The events of yesterday have cast a long shadow over football.

“Actions of individuals bring shame and humiliation on football and demand action and change from us all. We cannot allow the reputation of football to be dragged through the mud any longer. It has to be stopped here and now.”

The 79-year-old added that while people are holding him responsible, he can’t keep watch over the 209 Member Associations and added that those who are guilty of criminal offences will “also try to hide it”.

“Many people hold me responsible,” Mr Blatter continued. “I can't monitor everyone all of the time. If people want to do wrong, they will also try to hide it.

"I will not allow the actions of a few to destroy the hard work and integrity of the vast majority who work so hard football"

“Football cannot be the exception to the rule. There can be no place for corruption of any kind.”

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Blatter spoke about the recent arrests on corruption charges

Mr Blatter declared that Fifa now has to work in order to regain the trust it has lost as a result oif Wednesday’s arrests.

“The next few months will not be easy for Fifa. I'm sure more bad news [will follow],” added Mr Blatter. “We have lost the trust, and we must now earn it back.”

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Blatter welcomes guests tot he Fifa Congress meeting in Zurich

The Fifa president, who goes up against Prince Ali bin al-Hussein in Friday’s election, also confirmed that the world governing body will cooperate fully with the authorities investigating the corruption allegations.

"We will co-operate with all authorities to make sure all involved in wrongdoing is discovered and punished

“The next few months will not be easy for Fifa. I'm sure more bad news [will follow],” added Mr Blatter. “We have lost the trust, and we must now earn it back.

“We like this game, not for greed, not for exploiting, not for power, but because of the love of the game.

“Solidarity is asked for the game, for the world, for peace.”

Blatter then left the stage to a round of applause from those in the room.

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