FIFA President Sepp Blatter says the latest corruption scandal to hit the governing body has cast a “long shadow over football.”
Speaking at the opening ceremony of FIFA’s annual congress in Zurich, he condemned what he described as the “actions of individuals” who have brought “shame” on the beautiful game.
Facing calls to resign, Blatter has also defended himself.
“I know many people hold me ultimately responsible for the actions and reputation of the global football community, whether it’s a decision for the hosting of a World Cup or a corruption scandal,” he said.
“We, I, cannot monitor everyone all of the time. If people want to do wrong, they will also try to hide it.
“But it must fall to me to bear the responsibility for the reputation and well-being of our organisation and to find a way forward to fix things.”
Blatter took to the podium a day after senior FIFA officials were arrested on US corruption charges.
Swiss authorities have also announced a criminal probe into the awarding of the next two World Cups.