Fifa Chief Threatened

Date Published: 
2002-04-21
Source: 
The Sunday Herald

FIFA general secretary Michel Zen-Ruffinen fears there would be violent recriminations if he attends this weekend's meeting between north and central American federations in Miami.

Zen-Ruffinen had been expected to attend the CONCACAF congress in spite of instigating legal proceedings against CONCACAF president Jack Warner and general secretary Chuck Blazer after they refused to withdraw their claims that Zen-Ruffinen was actively gathering support for Issa Hayatou, who is standing against Sepp Blatter in Fifa's presidential election in Seoul on May 29.

However, Zen-Ruffinen said: "I have decided not to go to Miami since I was 'advised' to stay at home. I received physical threats.

"If I had gone, I'd have had to make sure I was well protected with bodyguards.

"It's sad that it has come to this. The election campaign has gone off the rails."

Blatter yesterday issued a denial that he had tried to obstruct an investigation into Fifa's finances, claiming the Internal Audit Committee (IAC) had been suspended on April 11 because of "a breach of confidentiality".

The committee was suspended by Blatter, a Swiss lawyer, on the day it was due to interview Urs Linzi, Fifa's financial director and a close confidant of the president.