RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter has promised “zero tolerance” in the battle against corruption that has plunged the sport into a series of damaging scandals in the last 12 months.
Blatter took a defiant stand as he faced the media just three days after former ally and Asian football boss Mohamed bin Hammam was banned for life on bribery charges.
“Confidence and truth, that’s what came out of the FIFA Congress in June,” said Blatter, who is in Rio to attend Saturday’s draw for the 2014 World Cup.
He added there will be “zero tolerance for everybody, on the pitch and off it… not only for my neighbour, my friends, my colleagues, my opponents, referees, but also for presidents of associations”.
“Not only are we working against corruption, but also against doping and discrimination.
“All this work has started. We now have work against illegal betting… you have seen the incredible number of federations implicated in fixed matches.”
Blatter refused to comment on the punishment handed out to bin Hammam, who was accused of offering cash for votes as he prepared to take on Blatter for the FIFA presidency.
“I can’t comment on the decisions of the ethics committee… but it will be reinforced,” he said.
“Not only to have a code of ethics but also to have a code of conduct.”