Jerome Valcke, FIFA’s general secretary, and the soccer body’s top administrative official, comments on FIFA being targeted by protests in Brazil, FIFA’s image following a series of corruption probes against members of its executive board and his future amid talks he may run for the organization’s presidency in 2015. Valkce, 52, was speaking in Rio de Janeiro, which will host next year’s World Cup final.
On Brazilian protests:
“It is not linked to the World Cup at all. It is based on a demand coming from the streets and the country for more investment in health, education, transport for a fight against corruption. Suddenly, the use of the Confederations Cup was a perfect platform to express the voices in a stronger way. That’s fine. There’s nothing wrong.
‘‘The thing which became wrong is when a minority joined the groups and started destroying everything, and being violent. That’s where there were some concerns and needs to ensure the security of the Confederations Cup.”
On FIFA’s image:
“I don’t think the goal of FIFA is to be loved by the world. You should detach the World Cup and our competitions. Our competitions are loved by the world. The body FIFA is a body making decisions, it is the governing body of football and I don’t think we should have as a goal to be loved.
‘‘We have to change the image and the perception of the world of what FIFA is and what FIFA is doing. FIFA is doing a lot more than just organizing events, it’s doing a lot more than just being the governing body. Without the support of FIFA there’s no development of football.”
On a post-reform FIFA and executive pay:
“The world has changed. There’s a word today which is the main word whenever you are a big company or big institution which is transparency and compliance.
‘‘We have reached a level of transparency and compliance which is quite high. You will say ‘it’s not enough. Guys, you have to publish your salaries,’ but why? Do you think that it changes anything and it brings something important to the situation we have at FIFA? I think now to have a system that whoever is working in football can be investigated by an independent body, the new ethics committee, is more important than anything else.
‘‘It means we are under a system which we cannot make any mistake. And if we are making mistake today I will be immediately out of the system.’’
On whether he will run for FIFA presidency in 2015:
‘‘I’m doing something which is an amazing job: The organization of the World Cup but also working at FIFA where I wouldn’t say I’m in control of everything but I can touch on everything. It’s the first time in my life that I’m in a position that you’re involved from A to Z.
‘‘I’m involved in the organization of football at level which is quite unique. If you are asking me do I want to become the next president? Firstly, the current president has to decide if he wants to stay or remain as president. It’s not a question for today. I will ask myself what’s my future after the World Cup because then I will have to decide what I have to do beyond 2015.”
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