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UK says change in Fifa leadership "very badly needed" after arrests

[LONDON] World soccer's governing body Fifa urgently needs a change of leadership, Britain's Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport said on Thursday, speaking after the arrest of several senior Fifa officials.

"A change in leadership of Fifa is very badly needed," John Whittingdale told parliament in response to an urgent question on the issue.

"Anyone who has spent any time looking at Fifa ... will know that this is merely the latest sorry episode which suggests that Fifa is a deeply flawed and corrupt organisation."

Mr Whittingdale was speaking a day after the game was plunged into turmoil following the arrest of senior officials - although not Fifa President Sepp Blatter - on US corruption charges.

He also called on sponsors to reconsider their links to the body.

Mr Whittingdale said a coalition of European and other national football associations should be assembled to put pressure on Fifa over the charges.

"I don't think we're yet at the stage of boycotting the World Cup, which might cause a concern to a large number of people who enjoy the World Cup, but there is no question that something has got to be done," he said.