FIFA President Sepp Blatter has accused England of seeking to destroy world football’s governing body.
The English Football Association were among the leading voices calling for reform after allegations of corruption were levelled against members of the FIFA executive committee earlier this year.
Former English FA chairman David Triesman accused FIFA executives of seeking bribes in exchange for supporting England’s bid for the 2018 World Cup.
Other FIFA executives also came under scrutiny during a UK parliamentary enquiry into further corruption claims.
When asked about FIFA’s battered reputation, Blatter accused England of jealousy and a vendetta dating back to the removal of Englishman Sir Stanley Rous from the FIFA presidency in 1974.
“This animosity comes from England,” Blatter was quoted as saying by Brazilian newspaper Estado de Sao Paulo.
“See the timing of the accusations (against FIFA by Triesman) – it was precisely when they lost the right to host the 2018 World Cup.”
“Three weeks before the election for president, the charges emerged. You know, I’ll tell the truth. All this is still a revenge for having lost the presidency of FIFA in 1974 to Joao Havelange.”
“They still do not accept that they no longer control FIFA. Since they could not regain the presidency, they decided they would destroy it.”
With one-time presidential candidate Mohammed Bin Hammam banned from FIFA after being found guilty of corruption, Blatter conceded some members of the organisation have acted inappropriately.
But the 75-year-old Swiss promised that action was being taken to address issues within FIFA’s ranks.
“What I have to say about it is this – we have bad losers in FIFA,” he said.
“We must say that some key players in FIFA have not acted well. But we have begun to act. Now, I ask that the press gives us some time to implement the measures we are developing. On October 21 I will announce (new) measures.”