By Mike Collett and Brian Homewood ZURICH (Reuters) - The corruption charges engulfing soccer's governing body has heaped shame and humiliation on the game, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said on Thursday, although he flatly rejected calls to resign over the scandal. With FIFA facing the worst crisis in its 111-year history, Michel Platini, who heads Europe's soccer confederation UEFA, said he had told Blatter to go "with tears in my eyes", but the 79-year-old had refused. "I said, 'I'm asking you to leave, FIFA's image is terrible.' He said that he couldn't leave all of a sudden," Platini, a former French international, told reporters.
By Noah Barkin BERLIN (Reuters) - The United States has infuriated some of its closest allies in recent years by fining their banks and spying on their citizens. Following news on Wednesday that the U.S. Justice Department, supported by FBI investigators, was charging nine current and former FIFA officials with illegal payments, kickbacks and bribes, the Twittersphere was flooded with rare cheers of approval for the "world's policeman". Fans of the "beautiful game" - the world's most popular sport but outside the sporting mainstream in the United States - also questioned why countries with a richer soccer tradition had turned a blind eye to suspicions of corruption for so long.