Blatter: I will reform FIFA

i-a59bd4a0e1e97e4b1f9d6beb9e7ac0c4-blatterhands.jpgThe always reform-minded Sepp Blatter (AP Photo).

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Guess ole’ Sepp has been paying attention to the turmoil in the Middle East. Still, he wants to appoint a watchdog committee? Isn’t that the foxes guarding the proverbial henhouse:

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — FIFA President Sepp Blatter promises wide-ranging reforms if re-elected, including the way World Cup hosts are chosen.

Blatter told the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine he also will set up a watchdog committee to supervise how FIFA works and “restore the credibility” of soccer’s governing body.

The 75-year-old Swiss is seeking a fourth term of office on June 1. His lone opponent is Asian Football Confederation President Mohamed bin Hammam.

Blatter said the selection process for World Cup sites should be similar to that of the
International Olympic Committee for Olympic venues.

FIFA was criticized for the way its last two World Cup hosts were picked — Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022). Both decisions came at the same time, with two executive committee members barred from voting by FIFA’s ethics panel because of corruption allegations. Four other senior officials were also suspended from duty.

“It’s a project I’ve had at the back of my mind,” Blatter told the paper. “I would like to
(follow) the example of the IOC, to prevent what happened.”

Blatter wants the executive committee to review 10 or 12 bids, narrow the field to the best candidates and let FIFA’s congress choose the winner.

The full congress includes 208 FIFA members — each representing a national association — who would all have one vote. Until now, World Cup hosts have been chosen by the 24-member executive committee.

Blatter said he wanted to introduce a body designed to help bolster FIFA’s standing. He said he already knew whom he wanted to lead the body.

“I can’t tell you the name yet. He will choose the other members,” Blatter said. “They should be familiar with football but their priority will be to restore credibility.”

The members would not come from within soccer, he added.

Looking toward the election, Blatter said he questions the motives of his opponent.

“I don’t know why Bin Hammam became so aggressive suddenly. He repeatedly told the executive he would not run against me and now he is doing it,” Blatter said. “I imagine that I have about the half votes from Asia and Africa and surely a majority in the rest of the world.”

Blatter said he was also willing to publish the salaries of FIFA officials, “if the congress
so decides.”

“Compared with international companies listed on the stock exchange, we are school kids as far as salaries are concerned,” he said.

The interview is set for publication Saturday. The newspaper published excerpts online
Friday.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group columnist and blogger Nick Green writes about soccer at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    “Blatter: I will reform FIFA!”

    In other news…

    Osama converts to Buddhism; becomes pacifist.

    Pope declares that God does not exist.

    Bears form winter hockey league to challenge NHL.

    Kate Middleton is Catholic (right, Nick?) ;D

  • Globe

    Hitler shouldn’t have committed suicide. In 1945 he should have said Germany was in need of reform and offered to make that his priority if he was allowed to stay in power.

    Could FIFA be more of a joke if it tried?

  • Studs Down

    “I am not a crook”