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Crisis? What crisis?

Sepp Blatter tried to bat aside all criticisms of Fifa yesterday, insisting that the organization wasn’t in crisis, only having to deal with ‘some difficulties’.

In an extraordinary media conference, in which Blatter went out of his way to not answer any of the pertinent questions surrounding the corruption scandal, the head of Fifa spent his time up on the pulpit pretending that everything was fine, and that there was no need to suspend Wednesday’s presidential election, for which he is the only candidate. He also refused to countenance the idea of interference from foreign governments concerned about the level of corruption inside the organization.

‘Football is not in a crisis, only some difficulties,' he claimed. 'If governments try to intervene then something is wrong.

‘I think Fifa is strong enough that we can deal with our problems inside Fifa. If somebody wants to change something in the election or in the congress of Wednesday, these are the members of Fifa, This cannot be done by the executive committee, it cannot be done by any authorities outside of Fifa - it's only the congress itself that can do it. Congress will decide if I am a valid or non-valid candidate.

‘I have tried for years to make Fifa's reputation the highest possible. I regret what has happened in the last few days and weeks, (causing) great damage to the image of Fifa and a lot of disappointment for football fans.

‘When I entered Fifa 36 years ago, we had no problems. We had no problems until 1998, this was the so-called 'very modest' Fifa. Now we are a 'comfortable' Fifa. I think we are too comfortable and some people like that.

‘We are in a game and all the little devils can enter the game. We have to fight against these devils. We have started to fight. We are in a very bad situation but, starting on Wednesday, the football family has the opportunity and they have to take it: if they want to restore the credibility of Fifa, and if they want to restore it with me.’

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