Blatter: ‘I am not a dictator’

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has denied claims he is a dictator, made by former Executive Committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam.Deposed Asian Football Confederation president Bin Hammam used the term to describe ally-turned-rival Blatter, soon after the Qatari was found guilty of corruption charges on Saturday.

But Blatter, 75, hit back on Wednesday in Rio de Janiero, ahead of Saturday’s preliminary round draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil.

“I am not a dictator, as has been said,” the Swiss said.

“I am not alone, I work with my executive committee, with my administration, and with a lot of advisors.”

“They know what it means to have transparency on one side, and anti-corruption on the other side. Do not forget that in FIFA we have 300 million people who work directly in football and in 300 million you cannot have only good people.”

“But I will not make any comments on the decisions of the Ethics Committee, and the follow-up by the media, and I ask you to understand my situation and let FIFA work in compliance with the strong demand of the FIFA Congress to go forward.”

Blatter refused to comment specifically on Bin Hammam, who is planning to appeal the findings from the FIFA’s Ethics Committee.

FIFA also announced that the 2014 World Cup would run from June 12 until its conclusion on July 13.