FIFA president Sepp Blatter refuses to resign amid corruption scandal
UEFA president Michel Platini said he asked FIFA president Sepp Blatter to step down from his position, with Blatter refusing, saying he is still the best person to lead the organization.
Blatter called an emergency meeting with the leaders of soccer’s six confederations after 14 officials were arrested and indicted on Wednesday, accused of decades-long widespread corruption.
Blatter was not among the 14 individuals arrested and charged by the United States Department of Justice with racketeering, fraud and money laundering. Swiss authorities opened separate criminal proceedings into FIFA's bid process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
After the emergency meeting, Platini said he talked to Blatter alone.
"I asked him to resign: enough is enough, Sepp,” Platini said, according to The Guardian. “He listened to me but he told me it is too late. I say these things with tears in my eyes. I don't like it this way. But there are just too many scandals. There are beautiful evenings ahead, but some long days before them.”
Platini says a number of European countries will vote against Blatter in Friday’s presidential election.
“A big, big big majority of the European associations will vote for Prince Ali," said Platini. "People have had enough, they don't want this president any more."
Blatter also resisted calls by UEFA to postpone the vote for six months. Blatter is running against Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan and is widely expected to win a fifth four-year term.
UEFA says it will not boycott the vote, but English Football Association vice chairman David Gill says he will step down from his seat on the FIFA executive committee if Blatter is re-elected.
- Scooby Axson