LONDON: FIFA vice president David Gill boycotted an executive committee meeting on Saturday in protest at the election of Sepp Blatter, the Swiss football supremo branding the Englishman’s snub as ‘irresponsible’ behaviour.
Gill said he could not serve under Blatter because of the mounting corruption scandals that have hit FIFA and the threat to his “professional reputaton.”
“This is not responsibility,” Blatter responded. “You are elected you have to come, whoever is the president of FIFA.”
The 57-year-old Gill, former chief executive of Manchester United, was elected to take the FIFA vice-president’s place reserved for the British nations.
After the arrest of seven FIFA officials in Zurich and a parallel inquiry into the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, Gill said he would not take up the seat under a Blatter presidency.
“This action is not something I take lightly but the terribly damaging events of the last three days have convinced me it is not appropriate to be a member of the FIFA executive committee under the current leadership,” Gill said in a stement.
“I do recognize that Mr Blatter has been democratically elected and wish FIFA every success in tackling the many troubling issues it faces. However, my professional reputation is critical to me and I simply do not see how there will be change for the good of world football while Mr Blatter remains in post.”
He said he would remain on the English FA and UEFA, which must hold a new vote to find a replacement on the FIFA board.
“Out of respect for the FIFA Congress and the other 208 member associations” Gill said he had waited until after Blatter’s re-election on Friday to confirm his decision.
Blatter told a press conference after the first executive committee of his new administration that he was “waiting” to hear from Gill.
“He was not present today at the executive committee. He has given no excuse or reasons about the presence.”
In comments about UEFA’s attitude to FIFA, Blatter went on that European officials should be more responsible.
“And responsibility you cannot take when you are elected without even coming to the first meeting. This is not responsibility. You are elected you have to come, whoever is the president of FIFA.”