11 Jun 2014

Embattled FIFA boss fights back

5:51 am on 11 June 2014

On the eve of the World Cup football finals FIFA's long-serving president Sepp Blatter is facing calls to hand over the reins of an orgnisation mired in allegations of corruption.

But the 78 year old Swiss fought back by securing the backing of regional FIFA delegates gathered in Brazil ahead of the World Cup.

Michael van Praag, president of the Dutch Football Association, delivered one of the bluntest messages yet to the 78-year-old FIFA president, when he told a Dutch newspaper FIFA's image has been tarnished by all that's happened over the last few years and that Blatter has been ultimately responsible for everything.

Preparations for the World Cup, which kicks off in Sao Paulo on Friday, have been overshadowed by allegations of corruption surrounding Qatar's successful bid to stage the 2022 World Cup.

European football's governing body UEFA, led by former French great Michel Platini, may seek to take a stand against Blatter in next year's presidential election.