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Thursday 8 December 2016

Prince William calls on sponsors to pressurise FIFA

Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter

Prince William has called for FIFA to reform, claiming it must show that it "can represent the interests of fair play and put the sport first".

The organisation and president Sepp Blatter have been heavily criticised after a week which saw seven FIFA officials arrested and 18 people connected to football indicted on corruption charges by the US justice department.

The Prince, who is the president of the English Football Association, described the week as FIFA's "Salt Lake City moment", a reference to when, in 1998, Swiss IOC member Marc Hodler revealed that several of his fellow officials had accepted perks in return for voting to award Salt Lake City the 2002 Winter Olympics.

"There seems to be a huge disconnect between the sense of fair play that guides those playing and supporting the game, and the allegations of corruption that have long lingered around the management of the sport internationally," he said in his pre-FA Cup final speech at Wembley.

"The events in Zurich this week represent FIFA's Salt Lake City moment, when the International Olympic Committee went through a similar period of serious allegations."

And William feels those in power, be it the federations or those who help fund FIFA, should put pressure on the organisation to force change.

"Those backing FIFA, such as sponsors and the regional confederations, must do their bit to press these reforms - we are doing football and its fans no favours if we do not," he said.

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