Departing Blatter presses on with Fifa plans

A defiant departing FIFA president Sepp Blatter is continuing to press forward with his plans for reform within the damaged organisation despite calls for him to have no further involvement.

Departing Blatter presses on with Fifa plans

Just four days after being re-elected into his post Blatter announced on Tuesday he would be standing down in the wake of bribery and corruption charges which have brought the world governing body to its knees in the last few days.

However, in his announcement he pledged to stay on until a new successor was elected — not likely until December at the earliest — in order to drive “far-reaching, fundamental reforms”.

That statement was greeted with contempt by critics in a week which has seen 14 officials indicted by the US Department of Justice on racketeering and money-laundering charges.

However, true to form, Blatter has ignored them and held a meeting with Domenico Scala, independent chairman of the audit and compliance committee.

“I had a good, constructive meeting with Mr Scala to establish a framework for action and a timetable,” said Blatter in a statement.

“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.”

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FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, one of those indicted by the US Justice Department and who is now the subject of an Interpol ’international wanted person’ alert, had already labelled Blatter a “lame duck president”.

He has pledged to release an “avalanche” of evidence relating to FIFA’s financial transactions, including those of Blatter, with him and the United National Congress, one of the parties in the current ruling coalition in Trinidad and Tobago.

“Blatter knows why he fell, and if there’s one other person who knows, I do,” he said.

In a separate television address Warner, who denies any wrongdoing, added: “At the age of 73 I have no intention of allowing them to deprive me of my freedom.

“I reasonably fear for my life. I have decided I will no longer keep secrets. I have compiled a comprehensive series of documents, including cheques and corroborated statements, and have placed them in different and respected hands.

“These documents detail my knowledge in the following matters: the link between FIFA, its funding and me; the links between FIFA, its funding and the United National Congress.

“These documents also deal with my knowledge of certain transactions at FIFA including, but not limited to, its president Sepp Blatter.”

On Tuesday, hours before Blatter announced he would stand down, Press Association Sport obtained a letter from the South African FA addressed to FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke requesting that FIFA make a payment of €10m (€8.9m) to an account controlled by Warner.

In an FBI plea bargain Chuck Blazer, formerly a senior official with the Concacaf confederation which represents North American, Central American and Caribbean nations, confessed that he “and others on the FIFA executive committee” had agreed to accept bribes in conjunction with the selection of South Africa as the host nation for the 2010 World Cup.

The revelations follow reports that the FBI is also investigating the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to be held in Russia and Qatar.

Qatar’s supreme committee for delivery and legacysay their preparations are unaffected by the latest developments.

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From florist to fraudster, leaving a trail of destruction from North Cork, to Waterford, to Clare, to Wexford and through the midlands ... learn how mistress of re-invention, Catherine O'Brien, scammed her way around rural Ireland.

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