Sepp Blatter and Palestinian footballers
Fifa president Sepp Blatter shakes hands with Palestinian coaches as he visits a football academy named after him, near the West Bank city of RamallahReuters

Outgoing Fifa president Sepp Blatter has done a lot to help smaller nations, says Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) president Timothy Fok Tsun-ting, according to the South China Morning Post.

Fok, who had voted for Blatter at the recent FIFA elections in Zurich, said that the consensus by Asia was to back Blatter. "We did that because he has helped develop small countries. Hopefully, the new president, whoever he is, will do the same."

Speaking in Hong Kong after his return from the Fifa congress in Zurich, Fok said he had followed the guidelines of the Asian Football Confederation, which backed Blatter as president.

He said he knew Blatter very well and Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, who stood against Blatter for the top job at Fifa, was "a good friend."

"But I voted for Blatter because of what he had done for smaller federations in Asia and Africa, giving them a helping hand."

Shocked that Blatter stood down

Fok said he was shocked to learn that Blatter had stepped down. The HKFA had received $2.5m (£1.63m) from Fifa over the past five years. This included $2m under the Financial Assistance Programme, which went towards technical development and men's and women's competitions, as well as $1.3m under the Goal Programme, which was used to renovate and refurbish the HKFA office.

Blatter opened the newly refurbished HKFA headquarters in Hong Kong last year, the newspaper said.

On the corruption allegations now facing Fifa officials, Fok said: "You have to remember football has gone through a major transition since Blatter took office. When he began, Fifa's assets were mortgaged to Swiss banks but today, thanks to the commercialisation of the sport, which he was responsible for, FIFA is sitting on massive amounts of money.

"This has also created problems which they are facing today," he added.

Separately, the HKFA's chief executive Mark Sutcliffe also came out in support of Blatter on a RTHK radio programme, saying that Blatter had been very supportive of football development in Hong Kong, according to The Standard.