July 16 - The pressure on FIFA President Sepp Blatter over the ISL bribery affair shows no sign of relenting after German football officials said they were "appalled" and one of them suggested he step down.
With an eagerly awaited news conference scheduled for tomorrow at the end of a FIFA Executive Committee meeting dealing with Blatter's reform plans, German Football Association (DFB) President Wolfgang Niersbach (pictured above and below, right) said that he and his colleagues were hugely alarmed by the scandal involving FIFA's one-time marketing partner.
"I'm speaking for the entire board of the DFB when I say that we are appalled," Niersbach said during a referees' convention in south-western Germany.
"It is a shocking fact.
"These things, which for years have wafted around as speculation, as rumour and suspicion, have now become official.
"You might well class me as naïve, but until the moment of the official announcement I was not able to believe it."
Blatter's predecessor at FIFA, João Havelange, and his former son-in-law Ricardo Teixeira both accepted bribes worth millions in exchange for World Cup television deals, according to Swiss court documents, and Blatter has admitted that he was the official identified in the court papers only as "P1" who was aware of at least some of the payments.
Blatter (pictured above, left) was working under Havelange and his comments last week that FIFA's internal laws did not at the time outlaw the payment of so-called commissions stunned Niersbach – just as they have so many stakeholders.
"I am just as shocked by the reaction of the FIFA President," he said.
"When by no means unimportant FIFA representatives have evidently pocketed money and then all that's said is that it wasn't forbidden at the time, then that is a reaction from which we at the DFB wish to completely distance ourselves."
The President of the German Football League (DFL), Reinhard Rauball (pictured below), went even further.
In an edition of Die Welt newspaper, given the current situation Blatter "should pass his official duties into other hands", he said.
Blatter was re-elected to a fourth term of office a year ago in an unopposed vote after his only rival, Mohamed Bin Hammam, withdrew after being charged in the cash-for-votes affair and was subsequently banned for life pending appeal.
But Rauball said enough was enough.
"For a reform process to take place, FIFA needs someone who is prepared to make a new start," he said.
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