BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Football  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Teams
Statistics
FA Cup
Eng Prem
Internationals
Champions League
Uefa Cup
Eng Div 1
Eng Div 2
Eng Div 3
Eng Conf
Scot Prem
Scottish Cup
Scot Div 1
Scot Div 2
Scot Div 3
Europe
Africa
League of Wales
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

Wednesday, 29 May, 2002, 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK
Blatter's pledge in tatters
Fifa general-secretary Michael Zen-Ruffinen has refused to resign
Zen-Ruffinen (right) will remain in Blatter's background
Sepp Blatter's pledge to unify Fifa looked in tatters in the wake of his resounding re-election as Fifa's president.

Uefa president Lennart Johansson offered to resign from his post, while Blatter launched an attack on his biggest critic, Fifa general-secretary Michael Zen-Ruffinen

Johannson is one of five Fifa vice-presidents who started legal procedings against Blatter's handling of financial affairs.


I shall be more prudent in the choice of people who have to work directly with me
Fifa president Sepp Blatter

After firmly backing Blatter's rival Issa Hayatou, Johannson confirmed he would meet Uefa heads.

Johansson said: "I have to ask them if they still want me, to know if the situation is still the same as when they elected me.

"I am prepared to step down," said Johansson.

Buoyed by a resounding majority which gave him the confidence to declare he had been too nice in the past, Blatter immediately launched an offensive against Fifa general-secretary Michael Zen-Ruffinen.

Zen-Ruffinen refused to quit but Blatter's sternest pre-election critic may find his position untenable.

Blatter confirmed Zen-Ruffinen's fears that his post would be in jeopardy.

Blatter told journalists: "He's in trouble, he said to one of your colleagues - and he is in trouble!

Issa Hayatou has promised his support for Sepp Blatter
Issa Hayatou (right) has pledged his support for Sepp Blatter

"I have to work on this unity but it depends on the behaviour and the fair play of those who in past times were not very gentile with me."

Blatter claimed a vicious election campaign was fought entirely in the light of the allegations of corruption and financial mis-management levelled against him.

He said: "I had no time to campaign, I only had time to defend myself and the office of president.

"It was not my bitter campaign, it was self-defence.

"So if you ask me what I will do better in the next four years I would say that I am too confident and that I shall be more prudent in the choice of people who have to work directly with me."

Zen-Ruffinen dismissed Blatter's post-victory call for unity and predicted more strife over the state of Fifa's finances.


The congress has spoken and now we have to work together. It won't be easy, but I hope we can
Fifa vice-president David Will

He said: "He's going to find it very difficult to re-unify this divided family."

"Nobody can agree on the figures so the dispute is going to continue."

But the margin of Blatter's victory convinced many of his pre-election critics to call for peace.

Scottish Fifa vice-president David Will heads the finance committee which is probing Fifa's books and claimed Blatter had been given a firm mandate.

"It's a stunning victory and the result was amazingly clear.

"The congress has spoken and now we have to work together. It won't be easy, but I hope we can."

That view was echoed by South Korea's Chung Mong-Joon, who said: "We have to bring Fifa together.

"This result was no accident and we have to accept it and move forward."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Nigel Adderley
"A predictable result"
Fifa president Sepp Blatter
"I have to install peace"
Fifa's Michel Zen-Ruffinen
"I'm disappointed with the world of football"
Uefa president Lennart Johannsson
"We must restore respect to Fifa"
 VOTE RESULTS
Was Fifa right to re-elect Sepp Blatter?

Yes
 12.75% 

No
 87.25% 

16280 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
Spotlight on Fifa president Sepp Blatter

Blatter re-elected

Build-up to vote

Features

INTERNET LINK
Links to more Football stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Football stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales