FIFA President Blatter Shows No Intention to Resign as Pressure Builds Up
FIFA President Sepp Blatter demonstrated no intention to resign as the tensions surrounding the corruption scandal at the international football association are building up.
Blatter chaired an emergency meeting with the heads of the six continental confederations on Thursday as the political pressure over the corruption scandal at FIFA mounted.
UEFA President Michel Platini asked Blatter to resign and British Prime Minister David Cameron similarly demanded his resignation, the BBC reports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin backed Blatter, who will be running for reelection to his fifth term at the FIFA Congress, which is scheduled to take place on Friday.
Putin blamed the USA on attempting to expand its jurisdiction in other countries and prevent the reelection of Blatter to a fifth term.
UEFA initially threatened to boycott the congress, but according to latest reports it will attend and the election will take place according to plan.
Key sponsors expressed concern over the corruption investigations by US and Swiss authorities and threatened to withdraw.
Blatter was not among the fourteen people accused by US authorities of bribery, fraud and money laundering.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called for a delay in the election as the image of FIFA had been severely harmed.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) was opposed to delay and it seems that UEFA was the only confederation to exert pressure on Blatter.
The emergency meeting was the first appearance of Blatter after the eruption of the crisis and the arrest of several high-level officials on Wednesday.
FIFA provisionally banned eleven out of the fourteen people charged from football-related activities.
Some of the officials are accused of accepting bribes to influence the outcome of bids for hosting football tournaments, such as the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the 2016 Copa America in the USA.
Major sponsors such as Coca-Cola, Visa, Adidas, McDonald's, Hyundai Motor, Budweiser and Gazprom are pressing FIFA to take immediate action and restore its reputation.
Swiss prosecutors are planning to interview ten FIFA executive committee members in a separate investigation of the bidding process for the 2018 Wold Cup in Russia and 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
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