Wed, Aug 19, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Blatter hits back at Chung’s corruption comments


FIFA president Sepp Blatter has slammed comments by Korea Football Association president and FIFA presidential hopeful Chung Mong-joon, who called FIFA a corrupt organization.

Blatter said he was disturbed by Chung’s outspoken comments at a news conference in Paris on Monday, where he officially announced his candidacy.

Chung went on the attack against Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini, a rival in the FIFA race.

“The real reason FIFA has become such a corrupt organization is because the same person [Blatter] has been running it for 40 years. Absolute power corrupts absolutely,” Chung said.

“It is disturbing, to say the least, to hear Chung Mong-joon describe FIFA as ‘a corrupt organization,’” Blatter said. “Even more so when one recalls — and as Chung cannot have forgotten — that he was a FIFA vice president and a FIFA Emergency Committee member for 17 years from 1994 up until 2011.”

Blatter said in a statement that “personal attacks” made by Chung at the news conference were “particularly disrespectful to all concerned.”

“I would like to stress again that FIFA is dedicated to improving the organization and will continue to strengthen its governance and accountability. Our work in this area continuously evolves, and we are focused on achieving the highest standards for the international football community,” Blatter added.

Chung made several attacks on FIFA’s leadership at his campaign launch in a Paris hotel, saying that it was in a “profound crisis” over police inquiries into two corruption affairs.

He added that Platini should not be a presidential candidate because he was too linked to FIFA’s past system.

Fourteen FIFA officials and sports business executives were charged by US authorities in May over more than US$150 million in bribes allegedly paid for television and marketing deals. Swiss police are separately investigating the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.

Chung said that as long as there is no “clear evidence” of wrongdoing in the Qatar bid then FIFA had to keep its promises to the Gulf state which is spending billions of US dollars preparing for the event.

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