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Finnish FA denies Blatter support report

The Finnish Football Association has denied a report by the Daily Mail that claimed Finland had voted for Sepp Blatter in Friday’s controversial FIFA presidential election. According to the FA, they voted for the Jordanian challenger Ali bin Al-Hussein as requested by the European confederation UEFA.

Vieraana Palloliiton uusi pj. Pertti Alaja.
Finnish FA chair Pertti Alaja was unavailable for comment on Sunday, but a spokesman denied reports he had voted for Sepp Blatter. Image: Yle

The Finnish Football Association did not vote for Sepp Blatter in Friday’s farcical FIFA election, according to the FA’s communications director Sami Terävä. The Daily Mail had reported that a group of 18 European associations, including Finland, had voted for Blatter against the instructions of the European football confederation UEFA.

Blatter won the vote 133-73. Finland had earlier announced it would vote for the challenger, Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein.

"We announced before the vote who we were voting for," said Terävä. "We have voted in the way we’d indicated we would."

UEFA had asked its 54 member associations to vote against Blatter, but according to a report in the Daily Mail citing a source close to al-Hussein, 18 countries declined to do so.

"We voted according to the European view, and we’re not commenting on the Daily Mail’s claims," said Terävä. "You’re talking about the Daily Mail, not a quality newspaper. I do wonder a little where this kind of story comes from."

Yle could not contact FA Chair Pertti Alaja, who cast the votes in question, on Sunday.

"It’s Alaja’s day off, but we have discussed the matter earlier," said Terävä. "He’s having a day off because he had a hard week travelling. I don’t think there’s anything strange about that. Can’t we give the man a day off?"

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