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Blatter forced to resign, politics behind FIFA scandal: Ex-Co member

The FIFA scandal is related to an American-Russian political conflict and only FIFA can stop Russia hosting the World Cup, says Egyptian official Hany Abo Rida

Eslam Omar , Sunday 7 Jun 2015
Hany Abo Rida
Hany Abo Rida, an Egyptian executive committee member (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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FIFA executive committee member Hany Abo Rida from Egypt stated that political reasons are behind the current chaos in FIFA.

"Nobody can defend corruption but the timing of the United States is very suspicious, just two days before the FIFA elections," Abo Rida said in a two-part interview for Al-Ahram daily newspaper.

On 27 May, the Swiss Federal Office of Justice arrested FIFA officials suspected by US investigators of corruption and for the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.

"It's like attempts to apply creative chaos theory inside the FIFA as part of the American-Russian political conflict but Russia, I think, will not let go its right to host the World Cup and only the FIFA can," Abo Rida explained, stressing the danger of "political interference in the decision making process inside FIFA."

He also explained that corruption allegations are not inside FIFA itself but inside the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) and the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).

"Corruption allegations are all about manipulations in television broadcast rights. These are not FIFA matters. It's more related to the continental bodies' heads who are members in the FIFA, of course, but individuals are to blame, not the FIFA itself as a body," the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) vice-president added.

 

Big countries and entities forced Blatter to resign

Abo Rida, also a member in the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), has backed the longtime FIFA chairman Sepp Blatter, who resigned Tuesday after four days of being re-elected for a fifth successive term.

"Loud and clear I say- Blatter has been heavily exposed to pressures from big countries and entities and was forced to resign," the 62-year-old Abo Rida revealed.

"Blatter's resignation was very surprising, bold and difficult but it is good for FIFA and the man is still playing his role as the boss as he is working on improving FIFA's image. All reports say he handed himself to the Swiss police to affirm that there was no corruption involved in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids," Abo Rida continued.

The 79-year-old from Switzerland, Blatter is to remain in office at FIFA until an election is held, sometime between December this year and March 2016.

Abo Rida also backed Russia and Qatar as the next World Cup hosts, saying that "their opponents' launched a media ambush against FIFA without any proof.”

"The Qatar World Cup 2022 bid was very professional and I voted for them, but in fact, Blatter himself wasn't supporting them," Abo Rida said.

He also stressed that Egypt voted for Prince Ali bin Hussein in the last FIFA elections, valuing the EFA announcement backing the Jordanian candidate for regional solidarity.

The interview, made by Mohamed Abou El-Khier, was published in two parts in the Al-Ahram daily newspaper, Friday and Sunday

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