FIFA leader Sepp Blatter appealed for unity among football’s warring factions as he opened the congress of the world ruling body overshadowed by a major corruption scandal.
Blatter told delegates that the arrest of seven top officials in Zurich on Wednesday had unleashed a “storm”, but added: “Today I appeal for a team spirit, unity, so we can advance together. It may not be easy but that is why we are here today.”
FIFA will hold a presidential election on Friday and Blatter is favourite to win having defiantly rejected calls by UEFA leader Michel Platini to stand down.
Two pro-Palestinian demonstrators were taken out of the hall just after the opening speech. Palestine wants to hold a vote to expel Israel because of its treatment of Palestinian footballers.