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Blatter: 'Give us time' to clean up FIFA

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has asked for time to clear up corruption allegations involving soccer's scandal-ridden governing body.

Blatter on Wednesday tried to sidestep questions about a life ban issued to former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam and tried to focus on the announcement of the dates for the 2014 World Cup.

The qualifying draw for the 2014 tournament in Brazil will be made in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday, one week after suspended Asian Football Confederation president bin Hammam was banished from soccer over allegations he tried to bribe Caribbean soccer's leaders.

However, Blatter did respond to bin Hammam's accusation in the wake of his life ban being handed down that the FIFA president had acted like "dictator."

"Let us work," the 75-year-old Swiss official said. "I am not alone. I am not a dictator, as has been said."

Since bin Hammam's punishment, FIFA has asked Caribbean soccer's leaders to explain their part in a May 10 meeting in Trinidad where the Qatari allegedly offered them $40,000 cash for their support. The Caribbean Football Union members had until Wednesday to come forward with details, or also face the possibility of life bans from soccer.

Blatter was re-elected unopposed to a fourth four-year presidential term in June, three days after bin Hammam withdrew his candidacy.

He then pledged a "zero-tolerance" drive to rid FIFA of corruption, but said Wednesday he needed several months to present details of how soccer's judicial bodies and governance would be reformed.

"There is a lot of work already on the table," Blatter said. "Give us the time to go step by step."