“We, or I, cannot monitor everyone all of the time. If people want to do wrong, they will also try to hide it. But it must also fall to me to be responsible for the reputation of our entire organization, and to find a way to fix things.”
Mr. Blatter’s speech provided his first public comments since two FIFA vice presidents, including Jeffrey Webb, the president of the regional confederation that includes the United States, were among the officials roused from their beds by the police on Wednesday. Blatter had skipped several previously scheduled public appearances on Wednesday and Thursday, but he has maintained that he will stand for re-election as planned at the conclusion of Friday’s FIFA Congress.
“The events of yesterday have cast a long shadow over football and over this week’s Congress,” he said. “Actions of individuals, if proven, bring shame and humiliation on football and demand action and change from us all.
“We cannot allow the reputation of football and FIFA to be dragged through the mud any longer,” Mr. Blatter went on. “It has to stop here and now.” via – NYTimes.com