Blatter denies FIFA in crisis

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Sepp Blatter last night admitted FIFA faced “difficulties” but insisted: “Crisis? What crisis?”

The FIFA president appeared at a news conference after another extraordinary day of revelations, claims and denials involving the world governing body’s most senior officials.

Blatter, though, appeared defiant and determined to press on with tomorrow’s election, where he will now be unopposed.

The conference at FIFA’s headquarters came shortly after FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke had confirmed that he sent an email suggesting the 2022 World Cup was “bought” - but insisted he was referring to Qatar using their “financial strength” to legitimately lobby for votes.

Asked about FIFA facing a crisis, Blatter said: “Crisis? What is a crisis? Football is not in a crisis.

“If you see the final match of the Champions League you must applaud. We are not in a crisis we are only in some difficulties and these will be solved inside our family.”

Mohamed Bin Hammam and Jack Warner, two of FIFA’s most powerful men after Blatter, have been suspended on bribery charges - while a photograph of some of the cash alleged to have been paid to Caribbean officials emerged yesterday.

There have been allegations in the British Parliament that Qatar paid bribes for the World Cup.