Published July 12, 2012
ZURICH (AP) – FIFA President Sepp Blatter has defended his role in a World Cup kickbacks scandal, in which former boss Joao Havelange took millions of dollars in payments from marketing deals.
FIFA published a Swiss prosecutor's report Wednesday confirming Havelange's role in the scandal. Blatter was FIFA's top administrator for 17 years during Havelange's FIFA presidency.
Asked if he knew that Havelange took kickbacks from disgraced marketing agency ISL, Blatter says ''commission'' payments were legal in the 1990s.
Blatter says ''I can't have known about an offense that wasn't even one.''
Blatter says only FIFA's Congress can remove the 96-year-old Havelange as FIFA honorary president.
Blatter says ''I don't have the power to call him to account.''