BLATTER GIVEN OVATION BY FIFA STAFF

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has been given a 10-minute standing ovation by some 400 staff as he returned to its Zurich headquarters a day after announcing he was to step down.

Reportedly close to tears, he urged his “fantastic team” to “stay strong”.

Mr Blatter stood down just days after he was re-elected, amid a corruption scandal engulfing world football.

Mr Blatter reportedly addressed staff in the same hall in which he announced he was resigning a day earlier.

He emphasised the reform work that Fifa now needed to undertake.

Director of communications Walter de Gregorio told the BBC that reform of Fifa’s executive committee was key and that members should undergo integrity checks.

He said it was not right for the president to say he was unable to monitor all of the executive committee members all of the time.

Mr Blatter had made those comments as he responded to the arrest in Switzerland last week of seven senior Fifa members – including two vice-presidents – as they awaited the Fifa congress, arrests that precipitated the latest crisis.

They were detained as part of a US prosecution that has indicted 14 people on charges of racketeering and money laundering. The US justice department alleges they accepted bribes and kickbacks estimated at more than $150m (£97m) over a 24-year period.



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