Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter was elected as Fifa president on 29 May, despite US prosecutors arresting Fifa officials on corruption charges on 27 May, and other countries announcing their own investigations (Getty)

Fifa's president Sepp Blatter continued his defiance in the face of continuing criticism of his re-election at a press conference in Zurich this morning (30 May).

The head of football's world governing body said: "There were 132 national federations who expressed their confidence in me. He also claimed he had the full backing of Fifa's executive committee: "I take the responsibility, but will share it with the governing body."

Yesterday 79-year-old Blatter spoke out to condemn what he described as a "hate" campaign against Fifa by European football authorities. He also said he was "shocked" by the comments of US prosecutors after the arrests of Fifa officials on charges related to corruption.

Blatter was re-elected as president at a Fifa congress in Zurich on 29 May, despite UEFA president Michel Platini urging him to step down.

On Wednesday, US prosecutors indicted 14 Fifa officials and associates. Seven of them were arrested in a dawn raid at a luxury hotel in Zurich. They stand accused of bribery, racketeering and money laundering involving $150m (£98.07m).

But in an interview yesterday with Swiss television station RTS, Blatter stated he suspected the arrests were an attempt to "interfere with the congress" at which he was re-elected as president. "I am not certain, but it doesn't smell good," he said.

During the press conference, Blatter suggested that the anti-corruption arrests were politically motivated, citing that the US had lost the bidding for the 2022 World Cup to Qatar and that England – another critic of Blatter's regime – had lost the 2018 World Cup.

He also said that the US was the "number one sponsor" of Jordan, the home country of the defeated challenger for the Fifa presidency, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein.

Blatter's 'shock'

Blatter also condemned comments made by US Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other prosecutors. In a press statement announcing the charges, Lynch said the "defendants fostered a culture of corruption and greed" in which "undisclosed and illegal payments, kickbacks, and bribes became a way of doing business at FIFA".

During this morning's press conference, Blatter said: "Of course I am shocked. I would never as Fifa president make comments about another organisation, without being certain of what has happened."

In what appeared to be a reference to Platini's call for his resignation, Blatter said: "It is a hate that comes not just from a person at UEFA – it comes from the UEFA organisation that cannot understand that in 1998 I became president."

Asked whether he would forgive Platini for calling on him to step down, Blatter said: "I forgive everyone, but I do not forget."

At this morning's press conference, Blatter expressed concern that two US journalists were present at Wednesday's dawn raid.

He also tried to distance Fifa from the corruption allegations, claiming that the corruption charges applied to the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf), rather than Fifa itself.

"I don't see how Fifa should have been directly affected by this," said Blatter.

In the meantime, the Swiss authorities have launched a criminal investigation into the awards of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments to Russia and Qatar.