78-year-old Sepp Blatter has been president of FIFA, soccer's governing body, since 1998. (AFP/Getty Images)
FIFA president Sepp Blatter laid into critics on Monday, accusing them of wanting to destroy soccer's governing body.
The global soccer governing organization has been under fire lately, particularly in the realm of corruption: The Sunday Times has issued reports detailing rampant FIFA corruption, including millions of dollars in bribe payments to secure World Cup bids for Qatar in 2022. The Qatar 2022 Bid Committee has repeatedly denied those claims.
FIFA's investigation into alleged wrongdoing during World Cup votes for Russia and Qatar is expected to be completed this week.
"I don't know what the reasoning is behind this but we must maintain unity," Blatter said, via the Associated Press. "It is the best way to say to all the destructors in the world, they want to destroy not the game, but they want to destroy the institution."
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Blatter has been in charge of the organization since 1998, is up for re-election next year and says FIFA member countries should be pleased with the bonus payments from 2014 World Cup profits, which are expected to be around $4.5 billion.
"I am sure you will be very happy," Blatter said about the payments.
The World Cup kicks off on Thursday with the opening match between Croatia and Brazil.
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