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FIFA No. 2 stands by accusations

Zen-Ruffinen (right) until recently was seen by many as a Blatter (left) loyalist

(Keystone Archive)

FIFA's general-secretary, Michel Zen-Ruffinen, has refused to retract claims of mismanagement and impropriety against the organisation's head, Sepp Blatter.

Zen-Ruffinen, the No. 2 official at the controlling body of world football, was not prepared to withdraw the allegations, including voter fraud and theft of documents, by the deadline Blatter had set.

However, Zen-Ruffinen will "provide the FIFA Executive Committee, in its capacity as the controlling body, with all the relevant facts and evidence at its meeting" on May 3, the organisation said.

Blatter asked Zen-Ruffinen to withdraw his comments in writing by Tuesday evening or back them up with evidence.

"What has happened here at FIFA in the last few days is intolerable," Blatter said on Monday, after he met Zen-Ruffinen at FIFA's Zurich headquarters. "I don't want him to resign but I do want him to do his job."

The general-secretary's criticism has added to Blatter's troubles as he fights for reelection to another four-year term as president May 29.

swissinfo with agencies


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