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Ecclestone defends FIFA boss Sepp Blatter

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Ecclestone defends FIFA boss Sepp Blatter

Ecclestone defends FIFA boss Sepp Blatter

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has defended Sepp Blatter’s record as FIFA president and questioned why the 79-year-old Swiss should have to step down from the scandal-mired football body.

Ecclestone decried criminal proceeding against FIFA head, Sepp Blatter, in an interview with Russian TV network RT SophieCo program, saying that corruption was the price football had to pay for becoming the most popular sport on the planet.

“I don’t think he (Blatter) should have ever stepped down,” Ecclestone told the show’s host, Sophie Shevardnadze, during the F1 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi over the weekend.

“I don’t think he should have ever been challenged because it’s because of him we have a lot of countries around the world that are now playing football,” he explained.

As for the corruption allegation faced by Blatter and other high ranked FIFA officials, Ecclestone believes that it’s “a tax football had to pay” for its current positions.

“And if these people allegedly have been corrupted to make things happen in their country, it’s good,” the 84-year-old said.

Blatter, who has headed world football since 1998, announced in June that he would be stepping down amid the massive corruption scandal in FIFA that has shaken the organization.

He is now being investigated by Swiss prosecutors over “unfavorable” TV rights contract and making a “disloyal payment” of nearly $2 million to UEFA president, Michel Platini.

Ecclestone faced bribery allegations of his own in a German court last year, eventually paying a US$100million (NZ$146million) settlement to avoid a lengthy trial and preserve his innocence. (Credit: RT)

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