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Jun 11, 2014

Attack is soccer supremo’s defence, as Blatter hits back in Brazil

SAO PAULO, June 11 (Reuters) – When FIFA president Sepp Blatter swept into the chrome and marble lobby of the Grand Hyatt hotel in Sao Paulo earlier this week, he did not look like a man fighting to salvage the reputation of soccer’s ruling body that he has led for 16 years.

The 78-year-old Swiss smiled as he greeted soccer officials from around the world who had waited to shake his hand, and he even had warm words for a small group of reporters wanting to speak to him.

Jun 11, 2014

Europe tells soccer boss Blatter he’s no longer man for the job

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Europe’s powerful soccer body told FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Tuesday that he was no longer fit to run an organization mired in allegations of corruption, in a stinging indictment of his reign just two days before the World Cup kicks off.

It was not all bad news for the 78-year-old Swiss, who earlier in the day all but confirmed his intention to lead soccer’s world governing body for a record fifth term in an election to be held next year.

Jun 10, 2014

No mention of crisis as Blatter opens FIFA Congress

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter made no reference to the various crises surrounding world soccer’s governing body when he opened the annual FIFA Congress on Tuesday with a short welcoming speech to delegates from 209 countries.

The 78-year-old Swiss made no mention of the allegations and investigation into corruption surrounding the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups or his own plans regarding standing for a fifth term as president next year.

Jun 10, 2014

Soccer-No mention of crisis as Blatter opens FIFA Congress

SAO PAULO, June 10 (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter made no reference to the various crises surrounding world soccer’s governing body when he opened the annual FIFA Congress on Tuesday with a short welcoming speech to delegates from 209 countries.

The 78-year-old Swiss made no mention of the allegations and investigation into corruption surrounding the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups or his own plans regarding standing for a fifth term as president next year.

Jun 10, 2014

Soccer-Europe tells soccer boss Blatter he’s no longer man for the job

SAO PAULO, June 10 (Reuters) – Europe’s powerful soccer body told FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Tuesday that he was no longer fit to run an organisation mired in allegations of corruption, in a stinging indictment of his reign just two days before the World Cup kicks off.

It was not all bad news for the 78-year-old Swiss, who earlier in the day all but confirmed his intention to lead soccer’s world governing body for a record fifth term in an election to be held next year.

Jun 10, 2014

Soccer-UEFA gives Blatter the cold shoulder in Brazil

SAO PAULO, June 10 (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter endured a tense and frosty reception from UEFA delegates on Tuesday, who stood alone from other confederations in not backing his intentions to run for a further term as FIFA president again next year.

Michael van Praag, the president of the Dutch FA and Greg Dyke, the chairman of the English FA, openly challenged Blatter after he addressed the European delegates at their national association meeting before the FIFA Congress which begins on Tuesday evening.

Jun 10, 2014

UEFA gives Blatter the cold shoulder in Brazil

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter endured a tense and frosty reception from UEFA delegates on Tuesday, who stood alone from other confederations in not backing his intentions to run for a further term as FIFA president again next year.

Michael van Praag, the president of the Dutch FA and Greg Dyke, the chairman of the English FA, openly challenged Blatter after he addressed the European delegates at their national association meeting before the FIFA Congress which begins on Tuesday evening.

Jun 10, 2014

Embattled FIFA boss wins support despite calls to step down

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – The head of world soccer, Sepp Blatter, faced calls on Tuesday to hand over the reins of an organization mired in allegations of corruption, but he also secured the backing of regional FIFA delegates gathered in Brazil ahead of the World Cup.

Michael van Praag, president of the Dutch Football Association (KNVB), conveyed one of the bluntest messages yet to the 78-year-old FIFA president, who is widely expected to run for a record fifth term in office in an election next year.

Jun 9, 2014

Colombia look set for last 16 even without injured Falcao

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Even without prolific striker Radamel Falcao, Colombia start as favorites to qualify from World Cup Group C after finishing second in the South American qualifiers and taking decent results against Belgium and the Netherlands in friendlies.

A successful opening match against Greece in Belo Horizonte on Saturday, hours before Ivory Coast meet Japan in Recife, should put Jose Pekerman’s side on the way to what seems a probable last 16 finish.

Jun 9, 2014

Africa supports FIFA boss Blatter, hits out at ‘degrading’ media

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Africa’s soccer chiefs launched an attack on the media – “notably British” – for what it called “repeated, deliberately hateful, defamatory and degrading attacks” on the integrity of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) “and the entire African continent”.

In a resolution posted on its website following Monday’s general assembly meeting, CAF hit out at reports placing the region’s soccer administrators at the centre of allegations of bribery to secure the 2022 World Cup for Qatar.