England out to 'destroy' Fifa presidency, claims Blatter
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Tuesday 30 August 2011
Sepp Blatter has claimed that England tried to "destroy" the Fifa presidency through the Football Association's attempts to delay his unopposed re-election in June.
Blatter said that a move by David Bernstein, the FA chairman, during Fifa's congress in Zurich to postpone the election in the wake of a series of corruption scandals was "an act of revenge for having lost the Fifa presidency in 1974".
Blatter is to reveal the world governing body's "proposals" to combat corruption within the organisation after the next meeting of the diminished Executive Committee in Zurich on 21 October. In an interview with a Brazilian newspaper, Blatter was asked about allegations of corruption during his time in office. He said: "We have bad losers in Fifa. Also we have to say that some of our actors and two of our key players have not behaved well. But we have started to take action."
When it was suggested to him the new proposals would change little, he said: "This animosity comes from England. Interesting is the timing of the accusations. It was just around the time when they failed to win host rights to the 2018 World Cup.
"Let me tell you the truth: all this has been an act of revenge for [Sir Stanley Rous] having lost the Fifa presidency in 1974 to [Brazil's] Joao Havelange. Since they cannot regain the presidency, they decided they would try to destroy it."
The FA has been working to repair relations since the June congress, with Bernstein and general secretary Alex Horne meeting Blatter. Later this week Blatter will be in Italy to launch the Fifa Beach World Cup, an event chaired by Ricardo Teixeira, the Brazilian FA president who recently described England as the "pirates of the world".
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