31 May 2011

Blatter shrugs off corruption allegations

2:20 pm on 31 May 2011

The FIFA President Sepp Blatter has shrugged off the corruption allegations engulfing football's governing body, denying the sport is in crisis and ruling out a new vote for the 2022 World Cup.

After days of widespread claims and counter-claims of corruption that saw two top officials suspended pending a bribery investigation, Blatter broke his silence in a stormy solo press conference at FIFA headquarters.

Blatter rejected suggestions that the vote for the 2022 World Cup - controversially awarded to the oil-rich Gulf state of Qatar - should be held again amid mounting allegations of bribery involving the bid.

Blatter was speaking two days before he is due to be re-elected unopposed by FIFA's congress following the stunning withdrawal of Qatari election rival Mohamed bin Hammam on Sunday.

Asian Football Confederation chief bin Hammam - who has vowed to appeal his suspension - and FIFA vice president Jack Warner are accused of attempting to bribe voters in the election with cash payments of up to 50 thousand dollars.