Add President Obama to the list of folks who are calling on FIFA to change its ways.
While speaking at the Group of 7 economic summit in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on Monday, Obama stressed the importance of transparency in regard to FIFA's business dealings.
“In conversations I’ve had here in Europe, people think it is very important for FIFA to be able to operate with integrity, transparency and accountability,” Obama said at a news conference. "As the investigation and charges proceed, I think we have to keep in mind that although football, soccer, depending on which side of the Atlantic you live on, is a game -- it’s also a massive business and the source of incredible national pride."
On May 26, U.S. authorities announced corruption indictments against 14 individuals with ties to soccer's governing body. The ongoing investigation led to newly reelected FIFA President Sepp Blatter announcing his resignation last week. Obama didn't say anything about the indictments or the federal probe.
Obama went on to say FIFA's stance in the world of sports is important and stated the U.S. has a growing interest in how the organization is being run.
“People want to make sure it operates with integrity," he said. "The U.S., since we keep getting better and better at each World Cup, we want to make sure a sport gaining in popularity is conducted in an upright matter."