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Sepp Blatter back at work at FIFA headquarters

Blatter Quits as FIFA Chief After Corruption Scandal

ZURICH (AP) -- A day after announcing his decision to resign, Sepp Blatter was back at work at FIFA headquarters on Wednesday as the worst corruption crisis in the governing body's 111-year history continued to unfold.

Interpol added six men with ties to FIFA to its most wanted list, while South African officials denied they made a $10 million bribe to secure the 2010 World Cup.

Blatter spoke to FIFA staff for about 10 minutes on Wednesday morning, returning to the same auditorium where he delivered his resignation speech a day earlier. Staff described him as being emotional, and said he received a standing ovation.

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Sepp Blatter back at work at FIFA headquarters
FIFA President Sepp Blatter speaks during a press conference at the headquarters of the world's football governing body in Zurich on June 2, 2015. Blatter resigned as president of FIFA as a mounting corruption scandal engulfed world football's governing body. The 79-year-old Swiss official, FIFA president for 17 years and only reelected days ago, said a special congress would be called to elect a successor. AFP PHOTO / VALERIANO DI DOMENICO (Photo credit should read VALERIANO DI DOMENICO/AFP/Getty Images)
FIFA president Sepp Blatter attends a press conference on May 30, 2015 in Zurich after being re-elected during the FIFA Congress. Blatter said he was 'shocked' at the way the US judiciary has targeted football's world body and slammed what he called a 'hate' campaign by Europe's football leaders. (Photo credit Fabrice Coffrini, AFP/Getty Images)
FIFA President Sepp Blatter walks after a press conference at the headquarters of the world's football governing body in Zurich on June 2, 2015. Blatter resigned as president of FIFA as a mounting corruption scandal engulfed world football's governing body. The 79-year-old Swiss official, FIFA president for 17 years and only reelected days ago, said a special congress would be called to elect a successor. (Photo credit Valeriano Di Domenico, AFP/Getty Images)
FIFA President Sepp Blatter gestures after being re-elected following a vote to decide on the FIFA presidency in Zurich on May 29, 2015. Sepp Blatter won the FIFA presidency for a fifth time Friday after his challenger Prince Ali bin al Hussein withdrew just before a scheduled second round. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
FIFA President Sepp Blatter gestures after being re-elected following a vote to decide on the FIFA presidency in Zurich on May 29, 2015. Sepp Blatter won the FIFA presidency for a fifth time Friday after his challenger Prince Ali bin al Hussein withdrew just before a scheduled second round. AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL BUHOLZER (Photo credit should read MICHAEL BUHOLZER/AFP/Getty Images)
A man wearing a mask depicting FIFA President Sepp Blatter holding Swiss Francs stands next to a woman holding a banner reading 'Game over for Blatter' during a protest held in front of the Hallenstadium where the 65th FIFA Congress takes place in Zurich on May 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL BUHOLZER (Photo credit should read MICHAEL BUHOLZER/AFP/Getty Images)
FIFA chief Sepp Blatter leaves at the end of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) regional Congress on April 30, 2015 in the Bahraini capital Manama. Sepp Blatter closed on a fifth term as FIFA president as a key ally, Asia's soccer boss, won new powers and silenced dissent at a regional congress in Bahrain. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/AFP/Getty Images)
FIFA President Sepp Blatter gestures during the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich on May 29, 2015. FIFA leader Sepp Blatter joined figures who have questioned the timing of a police raid to arrest top football figures just two days ahead of a presidential vote by the world body. Blatter also told the FIFA congress that the world body might not be embroiled in its corruption scandal if Russia and Qatar had not been awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
FIFA President Sepp Blatter gestures as he speaks during the opening ceremony of the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich on May 28, 2015. FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on May 28 that the scandal-tainted football body faces 'more bad news' and that officials accused of corruption had brought shame and humiliation on the organisation. But the 79-year-old Swiss official told the opening of FIFA's annual congress he could not be blamed for the latest controversy to hit the body saying he could not 'monitor' every official. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
FIFA President Sepp Blatter shows the name of France, after FIFA's executive committee on March 19, 2015 decided that France will host the 2019 women's World Cup. FIFA's executive committee started a two-day meeting on March 19 to decide the dates of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and announce their decision on the 2019 women's World Cup. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
FIFA President Sepp Blatter gives a thumb up at the opening of the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich on May 29, 2015. FIFA president Sepp Blatter heads into a re-election vote amid FIFA's corruption scandal on May 29, 2015 adamant that only he can clean up the world's most popular sport, to the dismay of critics who want to issue a red card to his 17-year rule. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
President of International governing body of association football FIFA Sepp Blatter holds the FIFA statutes during an interview on May 15, 2015 at the of organization's headquarters in Zurich. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
FIFA President Joseph Sepp Blatter attends the Ordinary UEFA Congress in Vienna, Austria on March 24, 2015. The annual congress of European football's governing body is expected to focus on elections for UEFA Presidency, UEFA Executive Committee and FIFA Executive Committee. AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
FIFA president Sepp Blatter attends a press conference on May 30, 2015 in Zurich after being re-elected during the FIFA Congress. Blatter said he was 'shocked' at the way the US judiciary has targeted football's world body and slammed what he called a 'hate' campaign by Europe's football leaders. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
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Elsewhere, Interpol got involved. The international police force, based in Lyon, France, issued an alert for two former FIFA officials and four executives on charges including racketeering and corruption.

Two of the men, former FIFA vice president Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago and former executive committee member Nicolas Leoz of Paraguay, have been arrested in their home counties. Warner has since been released and Leoz is under house arrest. The Interpol "red notice" means they risk arrest anywhere they travel.

In South Africa, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said the government wanted to "categorically deny" that the country paid any bribes to win the right to host the 2010 tournament.

Mbalula characterized the $10 million as an "above-board payment" to help soccer development in the Caribbean region.

The money, which went into a fund controlled by Warner, is part of the U.S. investigation into soccer corruption. That probe led to the arrest of seven soccer officials in Zurich last week, kicking off the FIFA scandal and eventually leading to Blatter's decision to step down.

Warner and Leoz were among 14 people indicted in the U.S. as part of the federal investigation.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, speaking in Latvia on Wednesday at a meeting with EU justice ministers, declined to comment on Blatter's resignation or whether he was himself under investigation.

"It's an open case and so we will now be speaking through the courts," Lynch said.

In a separate probe, Swiss authorities have opened a criminal investigation related to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests. Russia won the right to host the 2018 tournament and Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup.

The Swiss attorney general's office said Blatter was not under investigation, but said it has opened criminal proceedings against "persons unknown" for money-laundering.

In Moscow, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Blatter's announcement hasn't affected the country's plans to host the tournament.

Blatter said Tuesday he would remain president until a new election can be set up, which FIFA said could be sometime between December and March.

But Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein, who lost to Blatter in Friday's election, is looking into whether he should be in line to replace Blatter without going to another vote. The Jordanian Football Association said it is studying FIFA rules to see whether they allow for the possibility.

In South Korea, former FIFA vice president Chung Mong-joon said at a news conference that he will think about whether to run. UEFA president Michel Platini is considered a likely candidate.

---

Rob Harris and Karin Laub contributed to this report.


More from the recent FIFA scandal:

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FIFA raids, controversy
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Sepp Blatter back at work at FIFA headquarters
Swiss attorney General Michael Lauber attends a press conference on June 17, 2015 in Bern. Swiss authorities are investigating the 2010 FIFA vote that awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
NAGOYA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 07: Chuck Blazer Chairman of the Organising Committee for the FIFA Club World Cup talks to the media during the FIFA Club World Cup Organising Committee Press Conference at Nagoya Marriott Associa Hotel on December 7, 2011 in Nagoya, Japan. (Photo by Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MAY 27: An FBI agent wearing a mask carries a box from the headquarters of CONCACAF after it was raided on May 27, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida. The raid is part of an international investigation of FIFA where nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives were charged with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies. (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MAY 27: FBI agents carry boxes and computers from the headquarters of CONCACAF after it was raided on May 27, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida. The raid is part of an international investigation of FIFA where nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives were charged with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies. (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MAY 27: FBI agents carry boxes from the headquarters of CONCACAF after it was raided on May 27, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida. The raid is part of an international investigation of FIFA where nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives were charged with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies. (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MAY 27: FBI agents carry boxes from the headquarters of CONCACAF after it was raided on May 27, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida. The raid is part of an international investigation of FIFA where nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives were charged with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies. (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 27: Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks at a packed news conference at the U.S. Attorneys Office of the Eastern District of New York following the early morning arrest of world soccer figures, including officials of FIFA, for racketeering, bribery, money laundering and fraud on May 27, 2015 in New York City. The morning arrests took place at a hotel where FIFA members were attending a meeting for the world governing body of soccer (football) in Switzerland. The Justice Department unsealed a 47 count indictment early Wednesday charging 14 world soccer figures. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Costa Rican Football Federation acting President Jorge Hidalgo speaks during a press conference on May 27, 2015, in Lindora, 20 km west of San Jose, about the capture of Costa Rican Football Federation President Eduardo Li and six executives of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland. AFP PHOTO / Ezequiel BECERRA (Photo credit should read EZEQUIEL BECERRA/AFP/Getty Images)
US Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announces charges against FIFA officials at a news conference on May 27, 2015 in New York. The soccer officials arrested on Wednesday in an investigation into the FIFA governing body have corrupted the international game, Lynch said Wednesday. She spoke after Swiss authorities acting on the US indictments detained several FIFA leaders in a dawn raid in Zurich as part of a corruption probe that has rocked the sport's governing body. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
FIFA spokesman Walter De Gregorio arrives to give a press conference at the FIFA headquarters, on May 27, 2015 in Zurich. Swiss police on Wednesday raided a Zurich hotel to detain six top football officials as part of a US investigation into tens of millions of dollars of bribes paid to sport leaders, Swiss authorities and media reports said. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
FIFA spokesman Walter De Gregorio gives a press conference at the FIFA headquarters, on May 27, 2015 in Zurich. Swiss police on Wednesday raided a Zurich hotel to detain six top football officials as part of a US investigation into tens of millions of dollars of bribes paid to sport leaders, Swiss authorities and media reports said. (Photo credit Fabrice Coffrini, AFP/Getty Images)
FIFA spokesman Walter De Gregorio gives a press conference at the FIFA headquarters, on May 27, 2015 in Zurich. Swiss police on Wednesday raided a Zurich hotel to detain six top football officials as part of a US investigation into tens of millions of dollars of bribes paid to sport leaders, Swiss authorities and media reports said. (Photo credit Fabrice Coffrini, AFP/Getty Images)
A staff waits prior to a press conference at the FIFA heaquarters on May 27, 2015 in Zurich. Swiss police on Wednesday raided a Zurich hotel to detain six top football officials as part of a US investigation into tens of millions of dollars of bribes paid to sport leaders, Swiss authorities and media reports said. (Photo credit Fabrice Coffrini, AFP/Getty Images)
FIFA Director of Communications Walter de Gregorio attends a press conference at the FIFA headquarters on May 27, 2015 in Zurich, Switzerland. Swiss police on Wednesday raided a Zurich hotel to detain top FIFA football officials as part of a US investigation. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)
FIFA Director of Communications Walter de Gregorio reacts during a press conference at the FIFA headquarters on May 27, 2015 in Zurich, Switzerland. Swiss police on Wednesday raided a Zurich hotel to detain top FIFA football officials as part of a US investigation. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)
A man walks by the headquarters of the international soccer's top body FIFA in Zurich, on May 27, 2015. Swiss police raided the headquarters of FIFA in Zurich, seizing documents and data, the Swiss attorney-general's office said. The raids were part of an investigation already underway into money laundering and fraud involving FIFA's awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively, a statement said. (Photo credit Fabrice Coffrini, AFP/Getty Images)
A cloud is seen above the headquarters of international soccer's top body FIFA, on May 27, 2015 in Zurich. Swiss policeraided a Zurich hotel to detain six top football officials as part of a US investigation into tens of millions of dollars of bribes paid to sport leaders, Swiss authorities and media reports said. (Photo credit Fabrice Coffrini, AFP/Getty Images)
A woman walks by a logo of international soccer's top body FIFA, on May 27, 2015 at the organization's headquarters in Zurich. Swiss policeraided a Zurich hotel to detain six top football officials as part of a US investigation into tens of millions of dollars of bribes paid to sport leaders, Swiss authorities and media reports said. (Photo credit Fabrice Coffrini, AFP/Getty Images)
Media gathers outside the Hotel Baur-au-Lac where Swiss authorities conducted an early morning operation on May 27, 2015 to arrest several top soccer officials and extradite them to the United States on federal corruption charges. FIFA said it was seeking to clarify the situation after six football officials were arrested in Zurich on the request of US authorities, suspected of receiving bribes worth millions of dollars. (Photo credit AFP/Getty Images)
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