Football: Cameron says FIFA's Blatter 'should go'

29th May 2015, Comments 0 comments

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday urged FIFA president Sepp Blatter to resign in the interest of rooting out corruption in world football.

Cameron said it was "unthinkable" that Blatter could clean up the governing body, adding: "Frankly what we've seen is the ugly side of the beautiful game.

"Yes, in my view he should go," he said when asked about Blatter's future at FIFA, after talks in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"You cannot have accusations of corruption at this level and on this scale in this organisation and pretend that the person currently leading it is the right person to take it forward. That cannot be the case."

Cameron said football fans deserved to see the governing body purged of graft.

"He should go and the sooner that happens, the better, the faster that organisation can start to rebuild its credibility, which is going to be so important because so many people around the world want to see this game properly managed, properly looked after so we can all enjoy the World Cups in the future."

He declined to be drawn on whether the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, slated for Russia and Qatar respectively, should be moved due to sleaze allegations.

"I'll be guided I think by (English Football Association chief executive) Greg Dyke, who I think has spoken very clearly and very frankly about these issues," he said.

"I think we should let him lead on the footballing side of all of this."

Dyke has said that England would consider a boycott of the 2018 World Cup if all of UEFA backed such a move.

Merkel, an avid football fan whose country won the 2014 World Cup, declined to join Cameron's call for Blatter to step aside.

"The key point for me is that corruption must end and transparency must reign -- that is absolutely necessary in this beautiful game of football," she said.

"The ugly side, as David Cameron called it, must be cleaned up urgently in the name of all the fans of football, and there are billions of them around the world."

FIFA was rocked on Wednesday by the arrest of seven officials in a dawn raid on their Zurich hotel. They now face extradition to the United States where they are accused of accepting tens of millions of dollars (euros) in bribes.

Blatter on Friday defended his actions battling corruption ahead of a vote in Zurich to decide on whether he remains as president of football's beleaguered world body.

The 79-year-old is being challenged by Prince Ali bin al Hussein, a FIFA vice president. The prince, strongly backed by Europe's football powers, has campaigned on the need for change at the top of the scandal-plagued body.


© 2015 AFP

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