Rabbatts resigns from Fifa role in protest at Blatter

Ross McLean
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Rabbatts is the sole female on the FA board
FOOTBALL Association (FA) board member Heather Rabbatts yesterday quit her role on Fifa’s anti-discrimination task force in protest at Sepp Blatter’s re-election as president.

The anti-discrimination task force was chaired by Fifa vice-president Jeffrey Webb of the Cayman Islands, who is one of seven serving officials of the embattled world governing body to be arrested in Zurich last week on corruption charges.

Rabbatts’s action follows FA vice-chairman David Gill rejecting his place on the Fifa executive committee following Blatter’s election victory, which secured a further four-year term for the Swiss.

“I am withdrawing with immediate effect from the Fifa task force against racism and discrimination,” wrote Rabbatts in her resignation letter to Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke. “Like many in the game I find it unacceptable that so little has been done to reform Fifa.

“It is clear from the re-election of President Blatter that the challenges facing Fifa and the ongoing damage to the reputation of football’s world governing body are bound to overshadow and undermine any work in the anti-discrimination arena and beyond.”

The seven Fifa officials seized in dawn raids in Switzerland last Wednesday were among 14 people indicted by the United States justice department, which is investigating claims of bribery, money laundering and racketeering totalling more than $150m.

In a separate investigation, the Swiss attorney general has also opened criminal proceedings over the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.

FA chairman Greg Dyke has this week urged Michel Platini, president of European governing body Uefa, to coordinate a major boycott of the 2018 World Cup in protest at the besieged Fifa.

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