ZURICH: FIFA president Sepp Blatter, rather than rise above the criticisms levelled at him by Chung Mong-joon, issued an apparently riposte to an attack made by the South Korean on his candidacy launch in Paris.

Chung, for 17 years the Asian vice-president of the world football federation until 2011, had joined UEFA leader Michel Platini in the race to take the top job at the extraordinary elective congress next February 26.

But Blatter, who remained largely above the fray while running for re-election in May, hit back at old foe Chung within hours of the Hyundai owner’s attack.

Blatter said: “It is disturbing, to say the least, to hear Dr Chung Mong-joon describe FIFA as a ‘corrupt organisation’ during a press conference announcing his candidacy — even more so when one recalls, and as Dr Chung cannot have forgotten, that he was a FIFA vice-president and a FIFA emergency committee member for 17 years from 1994 until 2011.

“Regarding personal attacks made by Dr Chung at the same event, I will not comment further than to say that this is particularly disrespectful to all concerned.

“I would like to stress again that FIFA is dedicated to improving the organisation and will continue to strengthen its governance and accountability.

“Our work in this area continuously evolves and we are focused on achieving the highest standards for the international football community.”