Blatter Re-elected FIFA President | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Blatter Re-elected FIFA President

Posted: May 30, 2015 at 12:23 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The corruption crisis engulfing FIFA failed to topple Sepp Blatter on Friday as he was elected president for a fifth term.

The Swiss will continue to lead world football’s governing body into his eighties after winning by a majority of 133 to 73 in the first round of the vote at the FIFA Congress in Zurich.

 Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter

Blatter was just seven short of a majority and his opponent, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein decided to withdraw before the second round.

Despite many in the football world throwing their support behind Blatter’s sole opponent, Prince Ali there will be no change at the top of the embattled organisation.

It means Blatter will remain at the helm as authorities in the United States lead an investigation into endemic racketeering, bribery and money laundering involving leading FIFA officials going back decades.

“I thank you, you have accepted me for the next four years,” Blatter said. “I will be in command of this boat of FIFA. We will bring it back off shore.

“We won’t touch the World Cup. I am a faithful man, God, Allah, whoever, they will help us to bring back this FIFA. At the end of my (four year) term, I will give Fifa to my successor. It will be robust.

“I am not perfect. Nobody is perfect. Together we go. Let’s go FIFA! Let’s go FIFA!”

The result also significantly increases the prospect of European nations boycotting future World Cups, as mooted by President Michel Platini on Thursday.

Blatter, who has been in charge since 1998, said he would ‘shoulder the responsibility’ of dealing with the ‘storm’ that has rocked FIFA this week.

He vowed to fix the damaged governing body and ‘hand over a strong FIFA’ at the end of his final four years in office.

However, Prince Ali conceded before the second round of voting took place – when a simple majority would have been enough for either contender to win.

“It has been a wonderful journey in terms of knowing you and working with you, seeing the challenges you have and I want to thank in particular those of you who were brave enough to support me,” Ali said in conceding the election. “But, having said that I will be withdrawing from the race. Thank you all very much and I wish you all the best of luck for the future.”

The FIFA election had been in doubt on Wednesday when seven FIFA officials were arrested and indicted following a US-led raid in cooperation with Swiss police on the Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich.