FIFA president Blatter accused of corruption

Sat, May 4, 2002, 01:00

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been accused of corruption by the general secretary of world soccer's governing body Michel Zen-Ruffinen in an explosive report presented to the executive committee.

Zen-Ruffinen alleges in his "strictly confidential" 21-page dossier - obtained by Reuters - that the 66-year-old Blatter has systematically mismanaged FIFA by deception, illegal payments, violating the statutes and cronyism since becoming president in 1998.

Blatter, who was travelling to China on Saturday, could not be reached for comment by Reuters.

FIFA's Swiss president is standing for re-election on May 29th against Issa Hayatou of Cameroon.

Zen-Ruffinen has given Blatter one week to reply to all the allegations, or else he will place the matter in the hands of the Swiss authorities.

Blatter responded to Zen-Ruffinen's allegations by saying at a news conference attended by both men on Friday: "There is no crisis at FIFA this is all a total misunderstanding. I will reply in writing within a week."

Zen-Ruffinen, sitting next to Blatter, said: "I am really looking forward to those answers."