RCI St. Lucia
posted on May 29, 2015 09:21
World Soccer Boss Sepp Blatter was expected to be re-elected on Friday, defying growing calls for him to step down in the face of corruption scandals engulfing the sport's governing body.
Addressing FIFA delegates at the body's annual Congress in Switzerland, where members will later vote to decide the organisation's presidency, Blatter promised more transparency and urged members to remain unified.
He also said that FIFA would probably not be facing its present problems if Russia and Qatar had not been awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, respectively.
"Today, I am appealing to unity and team spirit so we can move forward together," he said, in a low key-address that contrasted with his more defiant reaction on Thursday.
Blatter also sought to distance himself from the scandal, the biggest crisis FIFA has faced in its 111-year history.
U.S. authorities have accused top FIFA figures and sports executives of corruption, while Switzerland is separately investigating the award of the next World Cup finals to Russia and Qatar.
"We cannot watch everyone all the time. We have 1.6 billion people directly or indirectly touched by our game," Blatter said.
He recalled that the Russian and Qatar awards were announced together in 2010 and "if two other countries had emerged from the envelope I don't think we would have these problems today".