Rummenigge warns FIFA of 'revolution from outside'

Rummenigge warns FIFA of 'revolution from outside'

Published Aug. 26, 2011 7:24 p.m. ET

European Club Association chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has called on FIFA President Sepp Blatter to introduce reforms in football's governing body or risk the fate of toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Rummenigge told Friday's edition of Swiss business magazine Bilanz that Blatter would be smart to introduce reforms ''before his successor does it, or before a revolution comes from outside.''

The former West Germany great added: ''Mubarak never imagined a year ago that he would be hounded from office.''

Blatter has been under pressure to repair FIFA's image, which has been tarnished by allegations of bribery, vote-rigging and unethical favors among members.


''An outside revolution causes big problems and confusion,'' Rummenigge said. ''The internal revolution can only be initiated by Blatter. I would do that in his place. If I can't prevent something, then I'd rather carry it out myself.''

Rummenigge, who is also the Bayern Munich chairman, threatened a split unless changes are introduced.

''The clubs are unhappy. FIFA and UEFA need the clubs for a World Cup or European Championship. But the clubs don't need them. Theoretically, we could play Bundesliga and Champions League - even without the associations,'' he said.

Rummenigge said the 75-year-old Blatter ''doesn't have a good image'' but ''the FIFA president must take responsibility for what happens in his own shop. It's up to him that everything is correct, reputable and clean.''

Earlier this month, Rummenigge questioned whether Blatter - who has been FIFA president since 1998 - was fit to run world football. He also demanded that clubs be given a more democratic say in its affairs.

Blatter promised to clean up his ''football family'' after he was re-elected unopposed for a fourth four-year term in June, although he warned it would take time.

FIFA's ethics panel has taken action against several members but was criticized by global anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International this month for not being truly independent. The ethics panel only examines cases referred by FIFA and does not have power to launch its own.

''FIFA has to start with an independent investigation to clear up the corruption allegations from the past,'' TI said.

''Football's governing body must be an example of the fair play that it promotes on the pitch.''