Business as usual for Blatter


October 07, 2015

Business as usual for Blatter


After defying pleas from FIFA sponsors to quit immediately, President Sepp Blatter is continuing regular business at football's governing body, presiding over a dispute between football federations yesterday.

The 79-year-old Blatter is determined to stay in power until an emergency election in February, despite being under criminal investigation in Switzerland over alleged financial wrongdoing while running FIFA and at risk of being suspended by his organisation's own ethics committee.

Returning to his more familiar role as a mediator, Blatter gathered the Palestinian and Saudi Arabian federations at FIFA's Zurich headquarters in an attempt to resolve a spat over a game venue.

common sense

"Blatter is functioning well and in a good mood with common sense, a sense of humour," Palestinian Football Union president Jibril Rajoub told the Associated Press.

According to Rajoub, Blatter halted a ruling by FIFA's World Cup committee to order an October 13 World Cup qualifier between the Palestinians and Saudi Arabians to be relocated from the West Bank to neighbouring Jordan.

The Palestinians accuse Saudi Arabia, which hosted the first leg in Riyadh, of being wary of appearing too close to Israel by going through its security, leading to the decision to use a neutral venue.

"Blatter was clear, saying the decision that was circulated was invalid and illegal and that each national association has the right to play at home, including Palestine," Rajoub said.

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