By the time freshly re-elected FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s resignation news began to settle in amongst the football-loving fans of India, the sport’s main governing body All India Football Federation (AIFF) released a statement in support of the controversy-ridden Blatter.
AIFF Vice-President Subrata Dutta, said that the AIFF is thankful for the immense support India received from FIFA under Blatter’s presidency. He also added that if Blatter is indicted on some count, they would ‘think otherwise’.
“We were with Blatter. We will continue to be by his side, unless, of course, he is indicted on some charges,” Dutta told IANS in Kolkata on Tuesday.
India voted for Sepp Blatter in Fifa prez elections: Dutta
Dutta also revealed that India voted for Blatter in the recent elections to show its gratitude for the support the nation received from FIFA over the last couple of years.
“We received all kinds of cooperation. The under-17 World Cup was gifted to us. FIFA has done a lot for the development and improvement of soccer in India,” Dutta said.
With almost about two years of time remaining for the U-17 World Cup, Dutta said that the country is ready to host the tournament. He also expressed confidence that whoever is elected as new president, the U-17 World Cup would remain unaffected.
“I feel whoever now occupies the hot seat, India would continue to be treated with respect and importance. India is a big market. FIFA will continue to stand by us the same way it has over the past few years.
I am confident that the under-17 World Cup will not be affected. FIFA has a professional set-up. It has professionals to run each department. The person who occupies the highest position only takes the policy decisions. It is implemented by the professionals. So we have no worries about that,” said Dutta.
However, many European and South American nations are meeting this Friday to decide on breaking away from FIFA to host the World Cup at an alternative venue in 2018.
Since the selection of venues for 2018 and 2022 World Cups, Blatter and FIFA faced continuous allegations of corruption. On the eve of Sepp Blatter’s re-election as president for a fifth straight term, seven FIFA officials were arrested from the five-star hotel Baur au Lac as Swiss Police opened criminal investigation into 2018 and 2022 world cup awards.
Sepp Blatter had resigned earlier on Tuesday in Zurich in a hasty manner by calling a press conference and announced
“FIFA needs a profound restructuring… Although the members of FIFA have given me the new mandate, this mandate does not seem to be supported by everybody in the world of football.”
Sepp Blatter had only secured 133 votes out of the total 209 in the first round when the FIFA congress met for election of its President five days ago. As he did not have a two-thirds majority, a second round of voting was to be held. However, Blatter’s competitor Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein conceded before the second round.
India is reported to be one of the 133 votes that Blatter got in the first round.