MARRAKECH, Morocco (Reuters) – Sepp Blatter declared FIFA’s crisis to be over on Friday and said he would not abandon soccer’s governing body.
“We have been in a crisis (but) with the decision of the executive committee today, the crisis has stopped,” the 78-year-old Swiss told reporters.
“If there are problems inside FIFA as we have faced, then it’s not the moment for the president, the man at the helm of FIFA, to say he will abandon his work.”
“Every day, hundreds and thousands of football matches are organised and they believe in FIFA,” he added.
“It’s not the first time that I have found myself as president of FIFA in a critical situation and I have to tell you that we will fight.”
Blatter made his comments after announcing that FIFA’s executive committee had agreed to publish former ethics investigator Michael Garcia’s report into the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding process.
FIFA had been under pressure to publish the report to shed light on what happened before the vote in December 2010, which led to the tournaments being awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively.
“Now we shall restore the credibility of this entity. We are still here to help the international football,” said Blatter.
“Look at what FIFA is doing all around the world,” he added. “Football has never stopped and it is not because of this problem that we shall abandon what we have been doing for years, in developing football.
“Now, football is played in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Syria, football is played in Palestine. Everywhere, football is giving hope to people, connecting people.”
“Look at the youth team of Syria who have qualified for the under-17 World Cup in Chile. This is what football brings….it is not because something is wrong that we shall abandon (it). “On the contrary, if something is wrong, we shall fight.”
Blatter is almost certain to stand for a fifth mandate at FIFA’s presidential election in May.
“We will see on Feb 1 (after the deadline for candidates to put themselves forward),” he said.
“Probably, you will see my name there because I have been asked by a lot of national associations to do so, but let me get past Christmas and give me the opportunity to say, yes I am present.”