The president of FIFA Sepp Blatter says the recent allegations of bribery against the association's top officials have caused "great damage" to its reputation.
“I regret what has happened. In the days and weeks, great damage to the image of FIFA. There is disappointment for the football fans. I am speaking to the football fans,” Blatter told the packed press hall in Zurich on Monday.
The Swiss leader of the world football's governing body, who himself was investigated and cleared, said that the upcoming world cup competitions would not be affected by the latest scandal.
“The World Cup 2022 is not touched, nor is the World Cup 2018,” Blatter said.
On Sunday, Jack Warner and Mohamed bin Hammam, two senior executive committee members, were barred by the football association's ethics committee from all FIFA business until a full inquiry into allegations of bribery was concluded.
According to the latest allegations Caribbean football leaders were each paid USD 40,000 to back bin Hammam's now-abandoned bid to become FIFA president.