A former FIFA vice president has called Sepp Blatter, the
president of soccer’s governing body, a ”little brat” who rules
Chung Mong-joon made the criticism in a memoir published in
South Korea last week, titled ”My Challenge, My Enthusiasm.”
Chung had been regarded as a candidate to succeed Blatter as FIFA
president before being defeated for re-election this year in a vote
by Asia’s governing body.
The book reached stores as Blatter prepared to present detailed
anti-corruption reforms in October after a year of scandal.
”President Blatter is fluent in five languages, has a good way
with words and is intelligent … but I think he is not an
international gentleman and he is like a little brat,” Chung said
in the book.
Chung, who served as a FIFA vice president for 16 years, accused
Blatter of trying to usurp the authority of FIFA’s executive
committee with his proposal to create an oversight, anti-corruption
panel that could include former U.S. Secretary of State Henry
Kissinger and opera singer Placido Domingo.
”(The FIFA) executive committee is an independent organ aimed
at performing the roles of ‘checks and balance’ to prevent the
president from going beyond his own authority. Blatter is now
attempting to take away the power of the executive committee and
neutralize any effort to check his power,” Chung wrote. ”It’s a
similar scheme that so many dictators have used in world
Chung also said that Blatter had unsuccessfully made a series of
unrealistic proposals, such as holding the World Cup every two
years rather than every four and moving the goalposts to help allow
”Those proposals … only triggered unnecessary friction and
confusion,” he wrote.
FIFA said Monday it would not comment on Chung’s memoir.
Blatter has long been a magnet for criticism, but the
75-year-old was elected unopposed this year to a fourth term as
FIFA president. His only challenger, Mohamed bin Hammam, withdrew
on the eve of the vote amid allegations that he tried to bribe
Caribbean voters in his campaign to unseat Blatter. Bin Hammam has
denied the charges.
FIFA Vice President Jack Warner, and two other FIFA executive
members, Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii, were suspended after
allegations of corruption. Warner then resigned.
Blatter told The Associated Press late last month he will
announce his reform agenda after an executive committee meeting
Last month, European Club Association Chairman Karl-Heinz
Rummenigge called on Blatter to introduce reforms in FIFA or risk
the fate of toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Blatter later
said he had made peace with Rummenigge.
Chung, a senior South Korean lawmaker and billionaire
businessman, had long headed the country’s soccer association and
was a key factor in helping South Korea land the right to co-host
the 2002 World Cup with Japan. He is contemplating a run for South
Korean president next year.
Chung’s late father, Chung Ju-yung, founded the Hyundai
conglomerate – a top-tier FIFA sponsor – and ran unsuccessfully for
president of South Korea in 1992. The younger Chung was also a
national presidential candidate in 2002.