You can't just ask people to behave ethically just like that: Sepp Blatter
On Wednesday, a group of senior FIFA officials were arrested by Swiss police on request from American authorities on charges of corruption. Speaking earlier at the 65th FIFA Congress where the presidential elections are due to be held as well, Blatter spoke about protecting FIFA’s reputation.
Sepp Blatter in his second of three speeches he will make today said, “We are going through troubled times. It's not unprecedented but the events of Wednesday have cast a shadow across football. Let’s try and lift that shadow and our spirits.”
Speaking about the FIFA officials arrested in connection with allegations of corruption, he added, “Those who are found guilty are individuals not the whole of FIFA. They are individuals who have lost sight of the fact that this is a team sport and must go for the same goal and sing from the same hymn sheet.
“I'm willing to accept that the president is responsible but must also share this responsibility with this government with all of you and you the member nations.”
FIFA’s attempts at ethical practices
He further provided examples of the steps taken by FIFA to maximise ethical procedures withing football's governing body.
He said: "We are popular, but popularity alone is not enough. With popularity comes responsibility.
“At FIFA we have set up a control system that was launched by a congressional decision here in Zurich four years ago.
“We set up the Ethics Committee, a Compliance Committee, a Disciplinary Committee and an Appeals Committee.
“These members were elected by the FIFA Congress. We have division of powers.”
While reiterating the unfairness of the situation where one man is responsible for over 300 million people, he said, “You can't just ask people to behave ethically just like that.”
He then thanked Coca Cola saying without their sponsorship, "we would not be here”.
On the FIFA structure and the next two World Cups
Before ending his speech Blatter highlighted two key things. Speaking of the current model that FIFA functions in, he said, “My predecessor [João Havelange] told me once, 'you've created a monster'"
“FIFA has become a big company. You (the member nations) are the owners of that company.
“You elected a congress and the congress elected a president”
He then shifted focus to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, noting, “If two other countries had emerged from the envelope I think we would not have had these problems.”
Finally, he concluded with a maritime metaphor, saying: “I appeal to you to put FIFA back on the right track to where the boat will stop rocking and go placidly into port.”