England bid not damaged by investigation says Sepp Blatter

FIFA president Sepp Blatter today said he believes England's bid for the 2018 World Cup bid will not be damaged by the fall-out of the Sunday Times investigation.

Six FIFA officials have received bans following the corruption scandal brought to light by the investigation.

Blatter told a news conference today that the 'entrapment' was "not fair" but said that should not - as is feared by England 2018 - rebound on their bid.

The FIFA president said: "Why should this have an influence on the English bid? Human beings taking decision don't look so much at the documents in front of them so I don't think they will into consideration what has been published or not.

"That's my opinion."

Blatter also announced that two former FIFA employees also caught up in the Sunday Times scandal had been declared "persona non grata" by a meeting of FIFA's executive committee today.

Ex-general secretary Michel Zen-Ruffinen and former tournament director Michel Bacchini recommended to investigators that they should offer illegal incentives to secure World Cup votes.

Blatter said the bans imposed by the ethics committee gave FIFA a chance to "clean up" but that the investigation methods were not fair.

He added: "No, I'm not pleased about that because this is not very fair but now we have a result it gives us an opportunity to clean a little bit whatever has to be cleaned.

"But I cannot say that it is very fair when you open traps to entrap people.

"But if... the objective is to have a clean sheet in football then I can understand it."

Blatter admitted the bans imposed on the six officials - including two of the 24 FIFA executive members, Nigeria's Amos Adamu and Tahiti's Reynald Temarii - had not gone down well with some of the other members who viewed them as overly harsh.

He added: "These decisions may not have found total support of all the members of the executive committee, it would be exaggerated to pretend that.

"But FIFA agrees with the decisions handed down by the ethics committee."

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