Blatter to strip Havelange role
FIFA chief Sepp Blatter has confirmed his intention to rally for the removal of the organisation's disgraced honorary president Joao Havelange.
Havelange, the 96-year-old former FIFA president, and his former son-in-law Ricardo Teixeira were named in court documents last week as having received millions of pounds in bribes from collapsed marketing company ISL during the 1990s. And despite initially claiming he was powerless to act, current president Blatter will now look to strip Havelange of the title.
He told Swiss paper SonntagsBlick: "He (Havelange) is a multi-millionaire. That he received bribes beggars belief for me. He does not need it."
He added: "I will suggest to the (executive) committee that the issue be dealt with at our next congress. He has got to go. He cannot remain honorary president after these events."
Neither Havelange nor former executive committee member Teixeira ever faced disciplinary action from FIFA.
Instead, the world governing body agreed to pay a Swiss court 2.5million Swiss francs (£1.64m) in compensation - but only on the condition that criminal proceedings against Havelange and Teixeira were dropped. The court report states Havelange was paid at least CHF1.5m (£1m), Teixeira at least CHF12.74m (£8.37m) and the pair may have received as much as CHF21.9m (£14.4m).
Blatter also revealed a high-ranking football official tried to bribe him to ensure his country qualified for the World Cup in 1986.
He said: "While I was general secretary, a football association president from one county came to me. It was a decisive game with the winner qualifying for the World Cup in 1986. He was here in FIFA HQ. As he was leaving, he came to me and said 'it would be good if the referees were on our side'. Then he put an envelope in my coat.
"I went back into my office and opened the envelope. There were 50,000 dollars inside. I took the money to our accountant and he suggested we should open an account in the man's name and pay it in. I told this to him and, 14 days later, he picked the money up. Since then, nobody has tried to bribe me.
"Back then we did not have an ethics committee - he gave me the money, I gave it back and that was it."