FIFA President asks General Secretary to make written statement At a media conference organised at short notice, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter today defended himself against the allegations recently made by FIFA General Secretary Michel Zen-Ruffinen in a series of interviews.
Blatter met the General Secretary today and asked him to either withdraw his comments in a written statement or to back them up with concrete evidence by Tuesday evening at the latest. This matter will also take priority at the next meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee on 3 May 2002.
‘Although the trust between us has been broken, it is not beyond repair. It can still be salvaged, but the General Secretary must take the next step,’ said Blatter.
The FIFA President also referred to the decision he made on 11 April, when he suspended the work of the ad hoc Internal Audit Committee (IAC). He reiterated that he had no other choice, as the requisite confidentiality for this body and its members could no longer be guaranteed.
This decision, as well as a number of other points relating to the work of the IAC, was at the centre of today’s discussion between the FIFA President and David Will, a FIFA Vice-President and chairman of the IAC.
On the subject of FIFA’s finances, Blatter once again backed up his previous statements by declaring that FIFA was in a stable position, saying, ‘at the start of this year, FIFA had liquid assets totalling CHF 1 billion, while the World Cup will only incur expenditure of CHF 800 million.’
He also stated that, ‘although expenditure in 2002 will be greater than revenue, FIFA will still present a positive balance for the period 1999-2002.’ The definitive figures will be presented at FIFA Congress in 2003. Tomorrow, the FIFA President will continue his discussion with IAC chairman Will, before travelling to the UEFA Congress in Stockholm on Wednesday.
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