By RYAN TOLMICH
As criticism and investigations continue to mount against FIFA, the organization’s president says he will welcome up the cleansing of the federation.
Sepp Blatter released a statement Wednesday after several of FIFA’s top officials were arrested on corruption charges. Blatter insists that Wednesday’s events were kickstarted by FIFA’s submission of a dossier to authorities last year and that the organization will continue to welcome investigations going forward.
“This is a difficult time for football, the fans and for FIFA as an organization,” Blatter said. “We understand the disappointment that many have expressed and I know that the events of today will impact the way in which many people view us.
“As unfortunate as these events are, it should be clear that we welcome the actions and the investigations by the US and Swiss authorities and believe that it will help to reinforce measures that FIFA has already taken to root out any wrongdoing in football.”
The charges against the FIFA executives stem from a series of corruption charges that saw 10 arrested early Wednesday morning.
Blatter, who was not one of those charged, is up for reelection, and could see his tenure extended to his fifth term in charge in Friday’s presidential election. The president says that, as the process continues, FIFA will continue to take action in order to regain the trust of the general public.
“Let me be clear: such misconduct has no place in football and we will ensure that those who engage in it are put out of the game,” Blatter said. “Following the events of today, the independent Ethics Committee – which is in the midst of its own proceedings regarding the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups – took swift action to provisionally ban those individuals named by the authorities from any football-related activities at the national and international level.
“We will continue to work with the relevant authorities and we will work vigorously within FIFA in order to root out any misconduct, to regain your trust and ensure that football worldwide is free from wrongdoing.”