UEFA calls for Blatter inquiry

Sepp Blatter's rise to the top of FIFA is being questioned Keystone Archive

The governing body of European football has called for an investigation into allegations that bribes were paid to ensure the victory of Switzerland's Sepp Blatter in the 1998 FIFA presidential race.

This content was published on March 1, 2002 - 15:53

The head of the Union of European Football Associations, Lennart Johansson, lost the FIFA presidency to Blatter.

A leading African football official has said bribes were paid to ensure Blatter's victory.

Farah Addo, a vice president of the African Football Confederation, said he was offered $100,000 (SFr170,000) to vote for Blatter by campaigners from the Gulf. He refused, however, to name the alleged participants.

Addo, who was head of Somalia's football federation, said he turned down the bribe. He also alleged that officials from 25 nations, including 18 from Africa, had accepted bribes for votes.

"Defamation campaign"

Blatter, who returned from Tokyo on Thursday, rubbished the allegations. "It is part of a destabilisation and defamation campaign against my person that has been ongoing for some time," he said.

"Recently, FIFA has been aware of the fact that this campaign has been launched intentionally. I have responded myself several times and in full length to all allegations in connection with the election in 1998."

Blatter is currently seeking re-election for another four-year term at the head of FIFA.

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