President Barack Obama spoke about the FIFA corruption scandal for the first time at Monday's G7 Summit in Germany.
According to Sky Sports, he did not address specifics about the U.S. Department of Justice's indictments of nine FIFA officials on charges including racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies last month.
The president spoke about FIFA as a whole and called for integrity in soccer's governing body.
“I will say that in conversations I’ve had here, in Europe, people think it is very important for FIFA to be able to operate with integrity and transparency and accountability,” said Obama.
“And so, as the investigation and charges proceed, I think we have to keep in mind that although football—or soccer, depending on which side of the Atlantic you live on—is a game, it’s also a massive business, it’s a source of incredible national pride, and people want to make sure that it operates with integrity.
“The United States, by the way, since we keep on getting better and better at each World Cup, we want to make sure that a sport that is gaining popularity is conducted in an upright manner.”
Obama's remarks come almost one week after FIFA president Sepp Blatter resigned amid the corruption scandal and on the same day as the U.S.'s first game at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.
- Molly Geary