FIFA: Blatter leaves more questions than answers in press conference
Just when FIFA President Sepp Blatter had the chance to reassure any sceptics that he is the right man to lead world football’s governing body for a fourth straight term along comes a bizarre performance from him in a specially arranged press conference at FIFA House in Zurich this evening.
With allegations of corruption and civil war breaking out within the upper echelons of what Blatter himself calls “the FIFA family”, today’s press conference was supposed to show the world that the president elect was on message and would reassure football fans and the waiting press that he was the man for the job. However once the press conference got under way he put a brave face on the current problems affecting FIFA by stating that the sport and the organisation was “not in a crisis” but only suffering some “difficulties” whilst insisting that any problems would be solved “inside our family”. This was too much to bear for some reporters who shouted him down at the end of what will go down as one of Blatter’s more brazen performances, continually answering most of the journalists’ questions with answers one could only describe as being like a default setting.
Before the press conference began news had come through that the two suspended FIFA members at the heart of corruption allegations, Mohamed Bin Hammam and Jack Warner, would appeal their suspensions. Later on there was more news involving FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke who will now have to answer questions regarding an email he had sent to Warner regarding the legality of Qatar’s successful 2022 FIFA World Cup hosting bid and which could be used as a stick with which to implicate Blatter in further investigations. The irony about Blatter’s press conference today was that the more he talked about transparency the more he dodged questions about any of the central figures involved in the case.
In the current climate this is a very sad indictment on what FIFA has become and against what FIFA wishes to stand for, Respect and Fair Play.