FIFA President Blatter says Havelange must go

Published:

 

ZURICH (AP) -- FIFA President Sepp Blatter says world soccer's governing body should remove the honorary presidency it bestowed on its disgraced former boss Joao Havelange.

Blatter told Swiss weekly Sonntags Blick in an interview published Sunday that Havelange "has to go."

In May at a FIFA congress in Budapest he had led a standing ovation for the ailing 96-year-old Havelange.

Pressure on Blatter has grown after FIFA published a Swiss prosecutor's report Wednesday confirming Havelange accepted kickbacks from marketing agency ISL in the 1990s, while Blatter was a senior FIFA official.

Blatter acknowledges he knew about payments but insisted they were legal in Switzerland at the time.

The 76-year-old Swiss took over from Havelange in 1998. He told Sonntags Blick he won't rule out standing for another term in 2015.