Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 29th 2015 Contents A58
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, May 29, 2015
ZURICH --- As defiant as ever, Sepp Blatter
resisted calls to resign as FIFA president
yesterday and deflected blame for the mas-
sive bribery and corruption scandal engulf-
ing soccer s world governing body.
"We, or I, cannot monitor everyone all of
the time," Blatter said in his first public
remarks on the crisis that has further tainted
his leadership on the eve of his bid for a fifth
term as president.
The 79-year-old Blatter insisted he could
restore trust in world soccer after a pair of
corruption investigations brought "shame
and humiliation" on his organisation and the
world s most popular sport.
"We cannot allow the reputation of football
and FIFA to be dragged through the mud any
longer," he said. "It has to stop here and now."
Despite a tide of criticism and pressure on
him to leave, Blatter is moving ahead with
a presidential election today that is likely to
bring him another four years in office as one
of the most powerful men in sports.
"The events of yesterday have cast a long
shadow over football," he said, his voice shaky
at times, in a speech to open FIFA s two-day
congress. "There can be no place for cor-
ruption of any kind."
Blatter refused to back down after European
soccer body UEFA demanded earlier yesterday
that he quit following the latest --- and most
serious allegations --- to discredit FIFA during
his 17 years in office.
"Enough is enough," UEFA President Michel
Platini said. "People no longer want him any-
more and I don t want him anymore either."
Platini met privately with Blatter and asked
him to go.
"I am asking you to leave FIFA, to step
down because you are giving FIFA a terrible
image," Platini said he told Blatter. "In terms
the first one to be disgusted by this."
Blatter, who is expected to win today s
election against Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of
Jordan, is coming under increasing scrutiny
amid US and Swiss federal investigations into
high-level corruption tearing at FIFA.
A US Justice Department investigation
accused 14 international soccer officials or
sports marketing executives of bribery, rack-
eteering, fraud and money-laundering over
two decades in connection with marketing
rights worth hundreds of millions of dollars
awarded for tournaments in North and South
America. Seven officials --- including two
FIFA vice presidents and members of its
finance committee --- remained in custody
in Zurich yesterday. Blatter was not implicated
in the indictment.
In addition, Swiss officials are investigating
the FIFA votes that sent the World Cup tour-
nament to Russia in 2018 and to Qatar in
2022. Both decisions were marred by alle-
gations of wrongdoing.
One of FIFA s major sponsors, Visa, warned
yesterday that it could pull out of its contract,
which is worth at least $25 million a year
Visa urged FIFA "to take swift and imme-
diate steps to address these issues within its
HAMBURG --- Ham-
burger SV remains on
the verge of Bundesliga
relegation after drawing
1-1 with second-division
Karlsruher SC in the
home leg of their playoff
Rouwen Hennings, a
former Hamburg youth
player, put the visitors in
front in the fourth minute
with a powerful shot
inside the far post on a
Ivica Olic had just
headed over from a cor-
ner at the other end, and
Hamburg had to wait
until the end of the first
half before going as close
again, when Pierre-
Michel Lasogga fired nar-
rowly wide after eluding
several Karlsruhe defend-
ers.Fans whistled the
home side off the pitch
at the break, frustrated
by missed passes, a lack
of cohesion and general
lack of confidence.
Karlsruhe twice struck
the crossbar in the 53rd,
first through Manuel
Torres from close range,
then Dimitrij Nazarov
But Ivo Ilicevic
equalised after playing a
one-two with Dennis
Diekmeier in the 73rd,
taking the return pass
with his first touch and
scoring with his next.
The Croat s first goal
of the season leaves the
playoff finely poised
ahead of Monday s sec-
ond leg in Karlsruhe.
Defiant Blatter resists calls to resign
FIFA President Sepp Blatter, front, speaks at the
opening ceremony of the FIFA congress in Zuerich,
Switzerland, yesterday. The FIFA congress with the
president's election is scheduled for today, in Zurich.
(WALTER BIERI/KEYSTONE VIA AP)
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