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Football: Re-elected Blatter put on the spot with audit; Fifa reaction.

Fifa vice-president David Will has urged Sepp Blatter to let the internal audit committee continue with their work after his reelection as president.

Blatter was returned to power on a landslide 139-56 vote victory over Issa Hayatou, of Cameroon. But questions have been raised about the financial future of the organisation.

Swiss lawyer Blatter was criticised during a hostile build-up to the vote in a bitterly-fought battle.

But Brechin honorary life president Will says the sport's world governing body must act swiftly to prevent any further financial problems.

Will said: 'To me, this whole business I have been involved in was nothing to do with the election, and whoever was president after today I would have appealed to them to allow the internal audit committee to go on with its work because we need to assure ourselves that there is nothing hidden or disguised.

'Someone has to take an iron grip on Fifa's finances. We have been giving away a million dollars here and a million dollars there and it has not been controlled.

'I am pleased that Mr Blatter and the congress will allow the internal audit committee to resume its work after the World Cup.

'A lot of people sitting on the executive committee and out there have genuine fears that the financial position of Fifa is precarious.'

Blatter, who has promised proposals which would restore credibility in Fifa, said: 'Give me 100 days, the famous 100 days, and I will come back with concrete proposals, and I will start to present structural changes within Fifa.

'I will come up with a paper demonstrating how I think we can go about restoring our credibility. It depends also on the behaviour and the will and the fair play of those who in past times have not been so kind to me.'

Blatter, who is being investigated by Swiss prosecutors, promised to bury his differences with Fifa's executive committee, from where much of the criticism of his activities has come.

English FA chief executive Adam Crozier delivered a powerful speech to the congress saying Fifa's credibility had been severely damaged by recent events, and warned of a looming crisis in its finances, while FA chairman Geoff Thompson waved away the possibility of English football being forced to pay a price for such public opposition. He said: 'Any organisation, in particular a democratic organisation, will have differing views and those have got to be respected - just as the election result has to be respected.

'What we really wanted is for the internal audit committee, which was suspended by the president in April, to be allowed to continue their investigation of Fifa's finances to continue and that has been agreed.'
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:May 30, 2002
Words:448
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