Australian Cypriot Independent senator Nick Xenophon has described the embattled FIFA boss Sepp Blatter as behaving like the Black Knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail movie for his denial that world soccer’s governing body is in crisis.
Senator Xenophon believes the 2022 World Cup bidding process should be reopened following more revelations about corruption in FIFA, and called a press conference by Mr Blatter “bizarre”.
“Crisis, what is a crisis?” a clearly irritated Mr Blatter told the media at FIFA’s headquarters on Monday.
“We are not in a crisis. We are only in some difficulties and these will be solved.”
Mr Blatter also rejected suggestions that the vote for the 2022 World Cup – controversially awarded to the oil-rich Gulf state of Qatar – should be held again amid mounting allegations of bribery involving the bid.
“Sepp looked completely in denial,” Senator Xenophon said in a statement on Tuesday.
“He looked like Monty Python’s Black Knight. FIFA hasn’t just received a `flesh wound’, it’s on the ground bleeding profusely.”
Senator Xenophon said FIFA cannot be trusted to investigate allegations that Qatar had paid bribes to secure the rights to host the 2022 World Cup.
He said, like FIFA, Mr Blatter seemed unable to acknowledge the seriousness of these corruption allegations.
Australia spent $46.5 million in taxpayers’ money in its unsuccessful bid to host the 2022 World Cup, and money Senator Xenophon should now be paid back.
Senator Xenophon said it was not good enough for the Gillard government to wait for the outcome of a FIFA investigation.
“Why would you trust an organisation that scammed you out of $46 million to investigate itself? It’s ludicrous.”
Senator Xenophon has signed onto the International Partnership for FIFA Reform, headed by UK MP, Damian Collins