The Twitter account of FIFA President Sepp Blatter has been hacked. with spoof messages posted claiming he was involved in corruption.
The world football governing body confirmed that the accounts of Sepp Blatter and the World Cup team had been compromised. The body worked quickly worked to remove the offending messages, which suggested that the decision to award the 2022 World Cup tournament to Quatar had involved corruption. As is the nature of the social networking platform, many of the posts on the twitter feed were re-tweeted by people before FIFA had a chance to take them down.
@FifaWorldCup tweets suggested that Blatter was to stand down following corruption charges, whilst @SeppBlatter replied with messages purporting to be from Blatter defending himself. Both were the result of the accounts being hacked. A group calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army – lately active including infiltrating some of the BBC's Twitter accounts – later claimed responsibility, but it is not clear if the attack came from a cyber warfare arm of Syria's regime or from a private hacker.
The messages claiming that Mr Blatter was corrupt were followed by a spoof tweet saying "I do not apologise for my decision. I have done the best for #FIFA."
In a statement, FIFA says: "We can confirm that some of FIFA's twitter accounts, including the account of the FIFA President and @fifaworldcup, have been hacked today. We are looking at this issue at the moment. In the meantime, to avoid any doubt, we kindly ask you to verify and check any statements that you see on a FIFA twitter account with the FIFA Media department ([email protected])."
Some of the messages mentioned Mr Blatter's links with Qatar and others mentioned his links with Jordan. Qatar has been involved in discussions about Syria's future and has supported several of the country's opposition members.