ZURICH: Sepp Blatter, shrugging off calls for an immediate departure, was getting down to work on the reforms he wants to push through FIFA – just as the Asian confederation backed the status quo for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Blatter announced his shock impending departure on Tuesday coupled with a promise to see through the remaining reform issues which he had shrugged off until now.
A statement from FIFA said that Blatter had prepared the groundwork in a meeting with Domenico Scala, the independent chairman of the audit and compliance committee.
Blatter said: “I had a good, constructive meeting with Mr. Scala to establish a framework for action and a timetable. I am pleased to take advice and guidance from Mr Scala.
“I want a comprehensive programme of reform and I am very aware that only the FIFA Congress can pass these reforms. Furthermore, the executive committee has a particular duty to share the responsibility of driving this process.”
Scala has led the way in tightening up on all FIFA’s audit and operating structures.
Separately, the AFC reacted sharly to suggestions that Blatter’s departure might expose the Qatar World Cup award to attack.
It saud: “The AFC reiterates its support for the 2022 FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar. Football is the world’s game that should set itself no geographical borders. The Gulf is a true football region, with some of the world’s most passionate football lovers, and Qatar is no exception.”
“Qatar 2022 will be the first time the West Asian region will have had a chance to show this passion to the world, during what will be only the second FIFA World Cup to be held in Asia.
“The AFC and the whole Asian football community stands with Qatar and we all look forward to hosting the World Cup, and welcoming the world.”
Earlier this week a similar statement of support for Qatar came from Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah who, even though he has only just joined the FIFA exco, is considered a possible front-runner to succeed Blatter as president.
Meanwhile, in Brazil, further allegations were raised concerning the financial benefits allegedly secured by former CBF president Ricardo Teixeira during his three years as president of the 2014 World Cup local organising committee.
Earlier in the week it was reported that he had generated $150m between 2009 and 2012, when he quit all his football roles and fled the country under the weight of scandal.
Teixeira has now returned to Brazil from which he cannot be extradited.
The CBF is planning an extraordinary congress next week to revise its statutes and meet concerns likely to be raised by a possible parliamentary inquiry.