Prince William Intervenes In FIFA Scandal

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Sepp Blatter and Prince William

Prince William used his speech ahead of the FA Cup match to demand FIFA reforms Image Credit: PA/Getty

Prince William has urged FIFA to reform and show “it can represent the interests of fair play and put the sport first”.

His words follow the arrest of several top executives at world football’s governing body over alleged corruption.

William, who is president of the Football Association, also asked sponsors to press for reform.

Speaking before the FA Cup final at Wembley, the Duke of Cambridge likened the scandal to the Salt Lake City Olympics corruption crisis.

That involved allegations of bribery used to win the rights to host the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah.

The Duke said: “The events in Zurich this week represent FIFA’s Salt Lake City moment, when the International Olympic Committee went through a similar period of serious allegations.

“FIFA, like the IOC, must now show that it can represent the interests of fair play and put the sport first.

“Those backing FIFA, such as sponsors and the regional confederations, must do their bit to press these reforms – we are doing football and its fans no favours if we do not.

“I have no doubt that when FIFA reforms, its mission to spread the benefits of the game to more people, especially those in developing countries, can only be enhanced.”

His comments come after Mr Blatter was controversially re-elected as president for a fifth time.

Prince William also backed the decision by former Manchester United chief executive and newly elected FIFA vice-president David Gill to quit the position in protest.

He said: “There seems to be a huge disconnect between the sense of fair play that guides those playing and supporting the game, and the allegations of corruption that have long lingered around the management of the sport internationally.”

Earlier on Saturday, Mr Blatter insisted he was the man to lead FIFA through the crisis.

In a stormy Q&A session with journalists, Mr Blatter said he had the backing of the organisation’s executive committee.

He also denied any personal involvement in the alleged acts of bribery after being asked by Sky News if he authorised a $10m bribe to a disgraced official.

“Definitely that’s not me. I have no $10m,” Mr Blatter said.

The allegation is contained in the US Justice Department’s indictment, which states that “a high-ranking FIFA official caused payments… totalling 10m – to be wired from a FIFA account in Switzerland to a Bank of America correspondent account in New York… controlled by Jack Warner”.

When asked if he was worried about being arrested in the corruption investigation, he responded curtly: “Arrested for what? Next question.”

Source: Sky News

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