WARSAW: European federation UEFA has reacted to the FIFA crisis in Zurich by demanding that Friday’s presidential election be postponed writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The demand was contained in a statement issued after an emergency meeting of the executive commitee in Warsaw ahead of the evening’s Europa League Final.
However the Asian confederation, after its own mini-congress in Zurich, insisted it should go ahead and registered its formal, continuing support for embattled president Sepp Blatter.
The 79-year-old Swiss is seeking a fifth term in office. His only challenger is Prince Ali of Jordan whose bid has been effectively ignored by his own confederation.
UEFA’s statement, observing that “corruption is deeply rooted in FIFA’s culture,” said:
Today’s events are a disaster for FIFA and tarnish the image of football as a whole. UEFA is deeply shocked and saddened by them.
These events show, once again, that corruption is deeply rooted in FIFA’s culture. There is a need for the whole of FIFA to be “rebooted” and for a real reform to be carried out.
The upcoming FIFA Congress risks to turn into a farce and therefore the European associations will have to consider carefully if they should even attend this Congress and caution a system, which, if it is not stopped, will ultimately kill football.
The UEFA member associations are meeting tomorrow ahead of the FIFA Congress. At that point, the European associations will decide on what further steps need to be taken to protect the game of football.
In the meantime, the members of the UEFA Executive Committee are convinced that there is a strong need for a change to the leadership of this FIFA and strongly believe that the FIFA Congress should be postponed, with new FIFA presidential elections to be organised within the next 6 months.
Asia’s confederation took the opposite view and remained loyal to the embattled Blatter despite the revelations of the day in both Zurich and New York.
The AFC said:
The Asian Football Confederation expresses its disappointment and sadness at Wednesday’s events in Zurich whilst opposing any delay in the FIFA Presidential elections to take place on Friday May 29 in Zurich.
The AFC is against any form of corruption in football and fully supports any actions taken by the independent FIFA Ethics Committee where wrongdoing may have occurred, whether such actions affect Asian officials or otherwise. The AFC is still undergoing its own process of reform and has taken many concrete steps in the last two years to improve governance in the Confederation, whilst recognising that there is still much work to do.
Furthermore, the AFC reiterates its decision taken at the AFC Congress in Sao Paulo in 2014, endorsed at subsequent Congresses in Melbourne and Manama in 2015, to support FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter.