FIFA president under scrutiny

Blatter could face a grilling at Wednesday's FIFA meeting Keystone Archive

The Swiss president of football's world governing body, Sepp Blatter, is expected to be fighting for his job on Wednesday when he faces a series of detailed questions relating to the collapse of marketing firm ISMM/ISL.

This content was published on June 11, 2001 - 17:01

The European football association, UEFA, has put forward 25 questions for the FIFA president to answer at the extraordinary meeting of FIFA's Executive Committee.

The questions were contained in a letter sent to Blatter on Monday by UEFA president Lennart Johansson. Specifically the letter asks when Blatter first became aware of the company's financial difficulties, and what steps were taken at that time to inform the Executive Committee.

Blatter has been under fire ever since ISMM/ISL was declared bankrupt. The Swiss-based company, which had been responsible for marketing the 2002 and 2006 World Cup tournaments, collapsed with debts of more than SFr 600 million ($333 million).

Following the company's demise, FIFA set up its own marketing subsidiary to deal with the rights, but Blatter has estimated that the bankruptcy could still cost the governing body up to SFr 100 million.

In his letter to Blatter, Johansson said he was "extremely concerned at the current situation relating to a number of FIFA commercial and other matters.

"Sadly, as a member of the FIFA Executive Committee and a FIFA vice-president, I feel that... I, and other members have for some time not been adequately informed about numerous strategic matters, which have also been acted upon without proper discussion."

UEFA has already warned that Blatter could be forced to resign if he does not adequately explain his relationship with ISMM/ISL. He faces a possible no-confidence vote at FIFA's extraordinary congress in July.

Speaking on Sunday, Blatter said he was confident of his position.

"I am looking forward to the meetings of the Finance Committee and the Executive Committee this week in Zurich," he said. "I have sent seven letters to the Confederations since March keeping them fully informed of the ISL issue."

Blatter is expected to stick to his argument that FIFA officials cannot be held responsible for the knock-on effects of ISMM/ISL's bankruptcy. At the end of May FIFA filed criminal charges against ISMM officials for allegedly embezzling millions of dollars in payments for broadcasting rights.

swissinfo with agencies

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