Football: Blatter backs German proposal for Fifa integrity checks

Fifa President Sepp Blatter addressing a news conference at the Fifa headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland on June 2, 2015.
Fifa President Sepp Blatter addressing a news conference at the Fifa headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland on June 2, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Fifa's outgoing president Sepp Blatter has endorsed a German proposal for integrity checks at world soccer's governing body as it grapples with the fallout of a massive corruption scandal.

Blatter, himself under scrutiny, said in his latest column in Fifa Weekly magazine that German FA president Wolfgang Niersbach had put forward the proposal for integrity checks of officials in all Fifa's main committees. "The message (Niersbach) has thereby sent out must apply to everyone: only together can we continue to drive the process of reform forward. That is something I will stand for until my final day in office," Blatter said.

The proposal will be discussed at an extraordinary Fifa executive committee meeting in Zurich on July 20 which is also when a date will be set for an election to find Blatter's successor.

Blatter said a process had begun to make Fifa more democratic and he added that women should be proportionately represented on the executive committee. "However, I am reluctant to take places away from anyone; there should not be a redistribution of seats on the Executive Committee but a commensurate expansion of this body," he said. "The key is to strengthen democracy within the 'Fifa government'. The confederations must be proportionally represented according to the number of member associations they have." Blatter, who had been in power since 1998, was re-elected on May 29 to a fifth term in office only to step down four days later amid investigations into alleged corruption of top Fifa officials.

Blatter and Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke have hired high-powered United States lawyers to represent them in the investigation.