Posted February 10, 2013 on AP on Fox
PLAYERS: Sepp Blatter
FIFA President Sepp Blatter expressed his surprise Sunday at public criticism of the world football body by its own anti-corruption advisers and said they were sometimes working outside their mandate. Blatter said in South Africa that the independent advisers, who Blatter invited in to help FIFA reform in 2011, were sometimes making demands and not recommendations. ''From time to time I realized that it is a deviation of the original objective and they are not coming with solutions, not recommendations, they are coming with decisions that we have (to take) ... and we must,'' Blatter told a small group of reporters. ''But that is not what we have asked for. ''We have asked (them) to give us solutions and we bring these solutions to the (FIFA) congress. The panel of advisers, chaired by Mark Pieth, said in a report last week that the European body UEFA, in particular, was resisting reform and called on FIFA to ''demonstrate leadership'' and not undermine efforts to reform the body. That report identifying problems in the process to put in place anti-corruption measures was sent to FIFA's executive committee, but also made available to the media, Blatter said. ''His (Pieth's) reaction and going to the media with that, he sends a letter to the FIFA executive committee and then publishing this letter. I think it is a little bit over the objective that I personally have fixed for the proposal of solutions,'' Blatter said. The FIFA President maintained he still had a good relationship with Pieth despite apparent disagreements on reforming the world football body, which is under pressure to change after damaging bribery and vote-buying allegations. ''I have a very good contact with Mark Pieth. You see, I called him in to help us at the origin,'' Blatter said. Some of the advisers' proposals include term limits for the FIFA president and board members, and it has suggested all FIFA committee members should be vetted for integrity by an independent group at its Zurich headquarters. Blatter agreed with the integrity check for FIFA members, but said it would be by FIFA's ethics committee. Blatter also said Sunday that he thought FIFA presidents should get eight-year terms like the head of the International Olympic Committee, and not the current four-year terms world football's boss gets before he has to stand for re-election. The president could then stand for an extra four years. ''If he has done a good job, he stops (after eight years),'' Blatter said, ''if he has done a very good job, he can go four more years.'' The 76-year-old Blatter has been in charge of FIFA since 1998 and although he said his current term would be his last, he again held back from ruling himself out for another term in elections in 2015, when he was expected to step down. ''Don't ask me what happens in 2015,'' Blatter said when asked if he would stand again. ''I say that I will fight for my FIFA. But I will have to stop. I don't know when I will stop. I have said it's my last mandate. I have said it.'' --- Follow Gerald Imray at http://twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP
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