Football: Blatter meets heads of six Fifa confederations, says source

File picture dated on Oct 4, 2013 of FIFA President Joseph Blatter following a FIFA Executive Committee meeting in Zurich, Switzerland. -- PHOTO: EPA 
File picture dated on Oct 4, 2013 of FIFA President Joseph Blatter following a FIFA Executive Committee meeting in Zurich, Switzerland. -- PHOTO: EPA 

ZURICH (AFP) - Fifa president Sepp Blatter has met with the heads of Fifa's six confederations in Zurich on Thursday morning as a vast corruption scandal continues to engulf world football's governing body, sources confirmed.

The presidents of European governing body Uefa, the Asia Football Conderation (AFC), Conmebol (South America), CAF (Africa), OFC (Oceania) and Concacaf (North, Central American and Caribbean) all attended the meeting, the subject of which was not revealed, on the eve of Blatter's election bid for a fifth term in office.

The meeting came as Blatter was urged to resign by England's Football Association and government.

"Sepp Blatter has to go as Fifa president," Greg Dyke, chairman of the FA, football's governing body in England, told the Press Association.

"There is no way of rebuilding trust in Fifa while Sepp Blatter is still there... He either has to go through a resignation, or he has to be out-voted or we have to find a third way."

British sports minister John Whittingdale supported the FA's position in an urgent debate in parliament, telling lawmakers: "A change in the leadership of Fifa is very badly needed".

Whittingdale urged sponsors to review their ties with Fifa and said Britain's Serious Fraud Office was examining the allegations made by US and Swiss authorities in a scandal that has engulfed the sport.

"(The SFO) will have heard the calls today. I understand, certainly, that they are looking at it," he said.

Asked about a possible re-run of England's failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup, which was won by Russia, he said: "I think it is too soon to say that there should be a re-run of the competition but we should wait and see what the outcome of the investigation is."

Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman meanwhile said Britain would be supporting Blatter's only rival for the presidency of Fifa.

"We're squarely behind the FA... (which) supports the candidacy of Prince Ali (bin al Hussein)," he told reporters.

World football's governing body has been plunged into crisis as it prepares to vote for a new president while accusations are levelled of "rampant, systemic and deep-rooted" corruption by US authorities.

Seven officials were arrested in a dawn raid on a luxury Zurich hotel on Wednesday and accused of taking more than US$150 million in bribes, with a total of 14 officials and marketing executives accused of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies.

Blatter has been Fifa president since 1998 and has weathered a series of scandals including allegations of corruption in the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, while remaining popular among Fifa member associations worldwide.

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