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article imageBerlin urges 'out-of-touch' FIFA to make fresh start

By AFP     May 31, 2015 in World

Germany's foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier insists FIFA must make a new start following Sepp Blatter's re-election and says football's governing body is out of touch with the sport it serves.

Blatter was voted in for a fifth term as FIFA president in Zurich on Friday despite a string of corruption scandals blighting the sport.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron and UEFA president Michel Platini led calls for Blatter to resign after Swiss police arrested seven FIFA officials in Zurich last Wednesday, accused by US authorities of taking tens of millions of dollars in bribes.

Prosecutors in Bern have has also opened a separate investigation into the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals to Russia and Qatar respectively.

And Steinmeier, German chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of foreign politics, says FIFA faces a huge task to repair their tarnished image

"Football, as a whole, suffered a bitter defeat in Zurich," Steinmeier told German daily Die Welt on Sunday.

"Football is part of world culture.

"All over the world, memories of great moments are shared by millions of fans and it is a universal language, which excites and brings people together.

"That should be the real legacy of FIFA.

"I have serous doubts that FIFA will be able to handle this massive task without making a serious new start.

"The gap between the machinations of their officials and the many players, coaches, parents, referees and fans around the world, who with a lot of passion, ensure every week that football lives, could not be greater."

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