Michel Platini has said that Uefa will quit Fifa if Sepp Blatter remains as President of football’s governing body beyond tomorrow’s election – a move which could mean all 54 European teams including England are pulled out of the World Cup.
Sepp Blatter should be replaced as the president of Fifa, which is a “deeply flawed and corrupt organisation”, the British government has said.
In a statement to parliament the UK’s culture secretary John Whittingdale called for sponsors to consider pulling support from the organisation until it reformed its procedures.
“I welcome the investigations that are well under way and I fully support the FA’s position that significant and wide-ranging reforms are needed at the very top of FIFA, including a change in its leadership,” Mr Whittingdale told MPs.
He said yesterday’s arrests of top Fifa officials on allegations of corruption were “shocking in both their scale and scope, but they were also far from surprising”.
“Anyone who has spent any time looking at Fifa … knows that this is merely the latest sorry episode which suggests that Fifa is a deeply flawed and corrupt organisation,” he explained.
Mr Whittingdale said the international football federation should be “the guardian of the world’s most popular sport” and welcomed a statement from payments company Visa that it was was examining its sponsorship arrangements with the sport.
“It is important that other sponsors reflect on their relationship with Fifa and consider following VISA’s lead,” the culture secretary added.
US prosecutors say nine officials at the powerful governing body took multi-million dollar bribes in return for rigging tournaments and Fifa presidential elections.
A 47-count sheet of charges against Fifa officialls was filed in a New York federal court detailing 12 separate allegedly corrupt schemes.
The officials are alleged to have accepted a total of $150m in bribes since 1991. Seven of the nine accused were arrested yesterday morning in a raid by Swiss police at a five-star hodel in Zurich.
US prosecutors hinted that there could be more charges to come.
“It is not over. The work will continue until all of the corruption is uncovered and a message is sent around the world,” FBI Director James Comey said yesterday.