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Jun 2, 2015

Blatter quits as FIFA chief after corruption scandal

ZURICH (Reuters) – Sepp Blatter resigned as FIFA president on Tuesday in the face of a U.S.-led corruption investigation that has plunged world soccer’s governing body into the worst crisis in its history.

Blatter, 79, announced the decision at a news conference in Zurich, six days after the FBI raided a hotel in Zurich and arrested several FIFA officials and just four days after he was re-elected to a fifth term as president.

Jun 2, 2015

FIFA says Valcke not involved in $10 million payment

ZURICH (Reuters) – FIFA denied on Tuesday that Jérôme Valcke, the top lieutenant of its President Sepp Blatter, was involved in $10 million in bank transactions at the heart of a U.S. bribery investigation against the world soccer body, despite the publication of a letter to Valcke outlining the payment.

Secretary general Valcke had no role in the payments, which were authorized by the chairman of FIFA’s Finance Committee, it said in a statement.

May 30, 2015

FIFA’s Blatter comes out fighting despite scandal and divisions

ZURICH, May 30 (Reuters) – FIFA President Sepp Blatter came out fighting on Saturday as he began his fifth term in charge of soccer’s governing body, implying that the United States timed the announcement of a major corruption probe to try to scupper his re-election bid.

The 79-year-old Swiss comfortably won Friday’s vote at a FIFA congress in Zurich, having secured the support of blocks of votes from Asia and Africa, which outweighed dissenters including Europe’s powerful soccer body UEFA.

May 30, 2015

No change in distribution of World Cup places

ZURICH (Reuters) – FIFA will not make any changes to the allocation of World Cup slots among the six continents for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in Russia and Qatar, president Sepp Blatter said on Saturday.

Europe will have 13 places, Africa 5, S.America 4.5, Asia 4.5, Concacaf 3.5 and Oceania 0.5, while hosts Russia qualify automatically in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.

May 30, 2015

Soccer-No change in distribution of World Cup places

ZURICH, May 30 (Reuters) – FIFA will not make any changes to the allocation of World Cup slots among the six continents for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in Russia and Qatar, president Sepp Blatter said on Saturday.

Europe will have 13 places, Africa 5, S.America 4.5, Asia 4.5, Concacaf 3.5 and Oceania 0.5, while hosts Russia qualify automatically in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.

May 30, 2015

Blatter hits out at U.S. authorities, UEFA

ZURICH (Reuters) – Sepp Blatter has said that the events in the run-up to his re-election as FIFA president “do not smell right” and he was the victim of “hate” on the part of European soccer’s governing body UEFA.

Blatter implied that it was not just a coincidence that Swiss police arrested seven leading soccer officials, including FIFA vice-president Jeffrey Webb, two days before the FIFA Congress and presidential election.

May 30, 2015

Soccer-Blatter hits out at U.S. authorities, UEFA

ZURICH, May 30 (Reuters) – Sepp Blatter has said that the events in the run-up to his re-election as FIFA president “do not smell right” and he was the victim of “hate” on the part of European soccer’s governing body UEFA.

Blatter implied that it was not just a coincidence that Swiss police arrested seven leading soccer officials, including FIFA vice-president Jeffrey Webb, two days before the FIFA Congress and presidential election.

May 30, 2015

FIFA’s Blatter faces division and suspicion as 5th term begins

ZURICH, May 30 (Reuters) – FIFA President Sepp Blatter began his fifth term at the helm of soccer’s governing body on Saturday facing the daunting task of restoring public faith in an organisation tainted by allegations of corruption and deeply divided over his re-election.

The 79-year-old Swiss comfortably won Friday’s vote at a FIFA congress in Zurich, having secured the support of blocks of votes from Asia and Africa which outweighed dissenters including Europe’s powerful soccer body UEFA.

May 30, 2015

Blatter wins fifth FIFA term as challenger concedes

ZURICH (Reuters) – Sepp Blatter was re-elected president of FIFA for a fifth term on Friday after his only challenger conceded defeat in an election overshadowed by allegations of rampant corruption in world soccer.

Blatter won despite demands that he quit in the face of a major bribery scandal being investigated by U.S., Swiss and other law enforcement agencies that plunged soccer’s governing body into the worst crisis in its 111-year history.

May 29, 2015

Blatter faces bigger challenge at divided FIFA

ZURICH (Reuters) – It was like time had stood still.

As Sepp Blatter was re-elected FIFA president on Friday he made almost exactly the same speech he did in 2011 about the need to pull together and root out corruption.

The reputation of soccer’s world governing body had been dragged through the mud and had to be restored, said the Swiss. The trust of the football family had to be won back and words had to be turned into action.