Soccer

What They’re Saying: Reaction to FIFA scandal

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter announces, in this 2010 photo, that Qatar will be hosting the 2022 Soccer World Cup, during the FIFA 2018 and 2022 World Cup Bid Announcement in Zurich, Switzerland.
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter announces, in this 2010 photo, that Qatar will be hosting the 2022 Soccer World Cup, during the FIFA 2018 and 2022 World Cup Bid Announcement in Zurich, Switzerland. AP

▪ FIFA president Sepp Blatter: “This is a difficult time for football, the fans and for FIFA as an organization. We understand the disappointment that many have expressed, and I know that the events of today will impact the way in which many people view us.

As unfortunate as these events are, it should be clear that we welcome the actions and the investigations by the U.S. and Swiss authorities and believe that it will help to reinforce measures that FIFA has already taken to root out any wrongdoing in football.

While there will be many who are frustrated with the pace of change, I would like to stress the actions that we have taken and will continue to take. In fact, today’s action by the Swiss Office of the Attorney General was set in motion when we submitted a dossier to the Swiss authorities late last year.

Let me be clear: such misconduct has no place in football and we will ensure that those who engage in it are put out of the game. Following the events of today, the independent Ethics Committee – which is in the midst of its own proceedings regarding the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups -- took swift action to provisionally ban those individuals named by the authorities from any football-related activities at the national and international level. These actions are on top of similar steps that FIFA has taken over the past year to exclude any members who violate our own Code of Ethics.

We will continue to work with the relevant authorities and we will work vigorously within FIFA in order to root out any misconduct, to regain your trust and ensure that football worldwide is free from wrongdoing.”

▪ CONCACAF: “The Confederation of North, Central America and the Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) is deeply concerned by today’s developments, in the arrest of several international football officials including those belonging to our Confederation.

The Confederation will continue to cooperate with the authorities to its fullest capacity.

At present, CONCACAF is not in a position to comment further on the specific allegations, which have been referred to the appropriate legal counsel through the pertinent channels.

CONCACAF continues to operate in the ordinary course of business, hosting all of its upcoming tournaments in a successful and timely manner, including the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.”

▪ United States Soccer Federation: “The United States Soccer Federation firmly believes there is no higher priority, and nothing more important, than protecting the integrity of our game. We are committed to the highest ethical standards and business practices, and we will continue to encourage CONCACAF and FIFA to promote the same values. Out of respect for the ongoing investigation, we will not speculate or comment further on this matter at this time.”

▪ North American Soccer League: “In light of the ongoing investigation announced by the U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday, the North American Soccer League's Board of Governors has suspended Chairperson Aaron Davidson, along with all business activities between the league and Traffic Sports, effective immediately. Commissioner Bill Peterson will serve as acting Chairperson.

The Carolina RailHawks, the sole NASL club owned by Traffic Sports, will continue to operate in the ordinary course of business. The club's management team will continue to manage the day-to-day operations.”

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