Luis Figo: Blatter’s presidential re-election dark day for FIFA
One-time FIFA presidential candidate Luis Figo was scathing in his criticism of Sepp Blatter after the Swiss was voted in for a historic fifth time as the head of world football’s governing body.
Figo withdrew his candidacy last week and the former Portugal international was in an angry mood after Blatter beat off sole challenger Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan despite not claiming a majority in the first ballot in Zurich. The Portugal great said: "Today was another dark day in Zurich. FIFA has lost, but above everything, football has lost and everyone who truly cares about it has lost too.
"Instead of what Mr Blatter said, the happenings of last Wednesday were not bad for football: They were bad for FIFA and for all the responsible that lead the organization until now. Football is not guilty but is the governing body’s leaders, who should regulate it, that have no integrity or honesty."
Figo also felt that Blatter’s assertion that he cannot be held responsible for all of those involved with FIFA was an insult.
"Mr Blatter had a very cynical reaction when he said that he couldn’t control everyone. It offends everyone’s intelligence," he added. "These persons, whom Mr Blatter has promoted through years, turned, with him, FIFA in to a decadent organization. If Mr Blatter were minimally concerned about football, he would have given up the re-election. If he has a minimal of decency, he will resign in the next few days.
"I regret nothing. I fought, I persisted, I made an effort for the regeneration of this organization that has to change course. We live in an emergency situation and football is the damaged party on this. I’ve denounced what I directly lived. I would do it again. And I remain available to help FIFA rebuild after this."