FIFA's Blatter: I can't watch everyone all the time

FIFA President Joseph "Sepp" Blatter admitted Thursday his organization has lost the trust of the global community, but he insisted he cannot be responsible for keeping corruption from happening.

Blatter, who has headed international soccer's governing body since 1998, is widely expected to win re-election on Friday despite the U.S. criminal case brought against several top officials on Wednesday. The embattled chief addressed the scandal during the opening ceremonies of the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich.

"The next few months will not be easy for FIFA. I'm sure more bad news may follow," Blatter said. "But it is necessary to begin to restore trust in our organization."

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Still, Blatter stressed his confidence that he was the man to lead the organization out of its corruption problem—no matter if the issues occurred on his watch.

"I know many people hold me ultimately responsible for the actions and reputation of the global football community, whether it's the decision for the hosting of a World Cup or a corruption scandal," he said. "We, or I, cannot monitor everyone all of the time. If people want to do wrong, they will also try to hide it."

FIFA President Joseph Sepp Blatter
Murat Unlu Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
FIFA President Joseph Sepp Blatter

U.S. authorities on Wednesday accused nine soccer officials of being involved in a $150 million bribery scheme. The charges contained in a 47-count indictment include racketeering, money laundering and wire fraud.

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Blatter, who has been at the global organization's helm during other highly publicized allegations of corruption, pledged to find a way forward after the actions of a minority brought "shame and humiliation to football."

"We cannot allow the reputation of football and FIFA to be dragged through the mud any longer," Blatter said. "It has to stop here and now."

He stressed that the "vast majority" of soccer officials are working for the love of their game, and not for personal gain.

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