Blatter: Emphasis on reform

The 79-year-old announced in June he is to stand down as president early next year after the corruption crisis which has rocked the world governing body broke but he is not going quietly.

Writing in his column for FIFA Weekly, Blatter also had a dig at UEFA and other confederations for blocking changes while stating the entire future of FIFA is at stake ahead of an executive committee meeting in Zurich on July 20 to determine the timetable for the presidential election.

Blatter said: “In European circles there is only one topic: the presidential election. However, the reforms we have not yet been able to implement are in fact more important.

???This requires a clear statement of intent on the part of the executive committee (ExCo) and Congress. We need to change structures so they are above reproach.

“The popular outrage concerning FIFA in recent weeks has mainly been directed at me personally. I have no problem with this. I can defend myself.

“However, I would appeal for fairness: I bear no responsibility for members of a government (the FIFA executive committee) I have not myself elected.

???The FIFA president must work with the people allotted him by the confederations. I therefore also bear no responsibility whatsoever for the behaviour of these ExCo members on their home turf.”

Blatter said reforms needed included integrity checks for ExCo members and term limits, and went on to claim proposals he had put forward had subsequently been blocked.

“When we introduce a change to the Laws of the Game, it is immediately enforced and adhered to by everyone,??? he added.

???Yet when the very same FIFA moves to implement an ethical code of conduct for the entire organisation, it is blocked by all the confederations with the exception of Asia.

“To this day, the UEFA has no ethics committee, and the German association has no ethics committee.

“Filling the office of president is ultimately only a sideshow, albeit staged in a glaring spotlight. I hope the congress is not blinded by this, because FIFA’s future is at stake, no more and no less.”