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UEFA considers boycott of FIFA congress and presidential election

The European confederation isn't pleased with FIFA's attitude that the show must go on.

Bruno Vigneron/Getty Images

FIFA has insisted that presidential elections will go on as scheduled despite Wednesday's arrests of high-ranking officials in connection with a corruption investigation, but the governing body of European soccer isn't so sure about that. It wants the election postponed, and it might refuse to show up if it isn't.

Here's the statement that UEFA issued on the matter.

Today's events are a disaster for FIFA and tarnish the image of football as a whole.

UEFA is deeply shocked and saddened by them.

These events show, once again, that corruption is deeply rooted in FIFA's culture.

There is a need for the whole of FIFA to be "rebooted" and for a real reform to be carried out.

The upcoming FIFA Congress risks to turn into a farce and therefore the European associations will have to consider carefully if they should even attend this Congress and caution a system, which, if it is not stopped, will ultimately kill football.

The UEFA member associations are meeting tomorrow ahead of the FIFA Congress. At that point, the European associations will decide on what further steps need to be taken to protect the game of football.

In the meantime, the members of the UEFA Executive Committee are convinced that there is a strong need for a change to the leadership of this FIFA and strongly believe that the FIFA Congress should be postponed, with new FIFA presidential elections to be organised within the next six months.

Reigning president Sepp Blatter is regularly accused of being involved with corruption, but has not been named by the U.S. Department of Justice in its investigation. His challenger, Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, has made fighting corruption in FIFA one of his main positions in the run-up to the election.

UEFA is led by former France star Michel Platini, who has historically remained neutral on Blatter's position. He has never accused Blatter of corruption, but has publicly stated that he believes FIFA needs a change in leadership. Platini has never run in opposition to Blatter despite arguably being the second-most powerful man in world soccer.

Update: They're not boycotting.