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Blatter slams England rep's boycott

Published 30/05/2015

Sepp Blatter won the first round of voting by 133 votes to 73, but he failed to gain a two-thirds majority
Sepp Blatter won the first round of voting by 133 votes to 73, but he failed to gain a two-thirds majority

Re-elected Fifa president Sepp Blatter has continued an attack against his opponents by slamming England's new representative for boycotting an executive meeting of the troubled organisation.

Mr Blatter has already said he will not forget Uefa's "hate" campaign calling for him to be ousted from his role as leader, an appeal backed by the English Football Association and Prime Minister David Cameron.

He claimed the bid to unseat him was down to "English media and the American movement" because of their failed World Cup bids.

He said the arrest of seven Fifa officials on US corruption indictments in Zurich was a possible attempt to interfere with the congress, where he was yesterday re-elected for a fifth term as president.

In a press conference today he criticised former Manchester United chief executive and newly elected Fifa vice-president David Gill for rejecting his position.

He said: "(Uefa) shall help and come in and take responsibility , and responsibility you cannot take when you are elected you don't come even to the first meeting. This is no responsibility .

"If you are elected you have to come, whoever is president of Fifa."

Mr Blatter beat rival Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan to secure a fifth term as president, but only after more than a third of the 209 footballing association members turned on him following the crisis that has struck the world governing body this week.

He earlier told Swiss TV station RTS: "No-one is going to tell me that it was a simple coincidence this American attack two days before the elections of Fifa. It doesn't smell right. This has touched me and Fifa.

"Not only did they try to denigrate me but also they used the moment to say, 'This is the time to go'. Then it was said, 'We are going to boycott the congress'. But where are we? Where is the sportsmanship? There are signs that cannot be ignored. The Americans were the candidates for the World Cup of 2022 and they lost.

"The English were the candidates for 2018 and they lost, so it was really the English media and the American movement.

"If they have a financial crime that regards American citizens, then they must arrest these people there and not in Zurich when we have a congress in Zurich."

Uefa president Michel Platini personally asked Mr Blatter to resign over the corruption scandal, and appealed for members to vote him out at yesterday's closely watched election battle.

Mr Blatter added: "The journalists made a deal: Blatter out. It is a hatred not only by one person at Uefa but by the organisation of Uefa that has not accepted that I have been president since 1998. I forgive everyone but I don't forget."

Most of the media investigations into Fifa have come from Britain, while it is the US justice authorities whose actions led to the indictments of 18 people, including charges that a Fifa bank account was used to channel a 10 million US dollar (£6.54 million) World Cup voting bribe.

It comes as the US Justice Department, which has so far charged 18 people over corruption allegations linked to marketing deals and World Cup votes, said more arrests could follow.

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke, who had earlier backed the idea of a co-ordinated European boycott of the World Cup, said: ''This is not over by any means. To quote the Attorney General this is the beginning of the process, not the end.

''The idea Blatter could reform Fifa is suspect. I'd be very surprised if he was still in this job in two years' time."

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch echoed the possibility of considering a boycott of the World Cup, writing on the Huffington Post website: "A Uefa withdrawal from Fifa would certainly damage the World Cup and put real pressure on Sepp Blatter's leadership."

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