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ST. PETERSBURG, July 23. /TASS/. The International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) keeps carrying out its duties even under the strained times, when the global sports organization was hit by a corruption scandal, the FIFA Weekly quoted on Thursday Sepp Blatter, the president of the organization, as saying.
"We live in turbulent times," the weekly, to be published on Friday, quoted Blatter as saying.
"But we are staying on course even in rough seas. FIFA works," Blatter, who arrived in Russia’s St. Petersburg on Thursday night for the 2018 World Cup Preliminary Draw, said.
An unprecedented corruption scandal flared up in FIFA in the morning of May 27, one day before the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich, as seven of the organization’s high-ranking officials were arrested in Switzerland on bribery, money laundering and corruption charges. The scandal involves two separate criminal proceedings.
Firstly, the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York is conducting a criminal investigation into the awarding of media, marketing and sponsorship rights for soccer tournaments in the United States and Latin America. Secondly, the Swiss Office of the Attorney General is conducting a criminal investigation into the selection of Russia as the host country for the 2018 World Cup and Qatar as the host country for 2022.
On top of all, shortly after FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced his plans to resign on June 2, some media reports informed that the FIFA chief was being investigated by the FBI and US prosecutors as part of the corruption case in the organization.
Blatter, 79, was reelected for his fifth consecutive four-year presidential term on May 29, when his only rival Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan pulled out after the first round of vote. However, addressing a news conference in Zurich on June 2, Blatter said he decided to lay down his mandate at FIFA extraordinary elective Congress.