I am powerless to punish Havelange, says FIFA chief Blatter
London: Fifa president Sepp Blatter has insisted that he is innocent of any wrongdoing as world football`s governing body finds itself embroiled in a new scandal.
Fifa published a Swiss prosecutor`s report on Wednesday confirming former chief Joao Havelange`s role in the scandal. Blatter was the federation`s top administrator for 17 years during Havelange`s presidency.
However, he stated that `commission` payments received by Fifa from disgraced marketing agency ISL were legal back in the 1990s.
"Back then, such payments could even be deducted from tax as a business expense. Today, that would be punishable under law," Blatter told Fifa.com.
"You can’t judge the past on the basis of today’s standards. Otherwise it would end up with moral justice. I can’t have known about an offence that wasn’t even one."
Now 96, Havelange is currently Fifa`s Honorary President and Blatter is resisting calls to strip his former boss of his title.
"I don’t have the power to call him to account. The [Fifa] Congress named him as Honorary President. Only the Congress can decide his future," he added.