Calls for Sepp Blatter to resign

Updated: July 17, 2012, 8:28 AM ET
Associated Press

BERLIN -- The head of Germany's soccer league has called on FIFA's president to resign over a bribery scandal.

Bundesliga president Reinhard Rauball told Germany's Welt Online that FIFA chief Sepp Blatter should step down as soon as possible so that soccer's governing body can make a fresh start.

Blatter has acknowledged he knew about payments by marketing agency ISL to former FIFA chief Joao Havelange but insisted they were legal in Switzerland in the 1990s.

Blatter insists "it is difficult to measure the past by today's standards."

"Bribery is unacceptable and I neither tolerate nor seek to justify bribery, but this is what I am now accused of," Blatter told Sunday's editions of Swiss paper Sonntagsblick in comments provided by FIFA. "The Swiss Federal Court has this week proven wrong all those people, who for years have accused me of having taken bribes.

"Now it is on record what I have always said: I have never taken nor received any bribes ... the people who attack me now know this is the case but still they persist. They want me out."

Rauball also called for an extraordinary FIFA congress where members should strip Havelange of his honorary presidency.


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press