Skip to main content

Sepp Blatter ready to stand for FIFA presidency

By James Masters, CNN
updated 7:09 PM EDT, Wed June 11, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sepp Blatter confirms he will seek reelection
  • Blatter wants a fifth consecutive term as president
  • Swiss had pledged not to stand again in 2011
  • World Cup starts in Brazil Thursday

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Like a pop star leaving their biggest hit for the encore, Sepp Blatter made sure he saved his best for last.

As a long day at the FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo came to an end, the 78-year-old announced he would stand for a fifth term -- reneging on a promise he made four years ago.

The news, which was expected, came after FIFA rejected the opportunity to impose age limits and maximum terms for officials.

"I know that my mandate will finish next year on 29 May in Zurich -- but my mission is not finished," he told Congress.

"And I tell you together we will build the new FIFA together. We have the foundations today because we have the budget for the next four years.

"We have the foundation, now we work. Congress you will decide who takes this great institution forward.

"But I can tell you I am ready to accompany you in the future."

The Swiss has been heavily criticized following allegations of corruption over FIFA's bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

On Wednesday, a number of European members urged him not to stand for president.

Speaking after a tense meeting between Blatter and UEFA members, the mood within the European camp was unequivocally clear.

David Gill, the English FA's representative on the Exco committee said: "The very fact in 2011 he was clear it was just for four years, that should have been the situation. To change his mind is disappointing," he said.

"I think we need a full, frank and open debate about what FIFA needs going forward."

Only Jerome Champagne, a Frenchman, has declared he will oppose Blatter at the May 2015 Congress in Zurich, Switzerland.

UEFA, the game's European governing body, has yet to reveal who it will select to contest the election.

Michel Platini, the UEFA president, is not expected to challenge Blatter.

Technology

As well as announcing his intention to continue in his role, Blatter also advocated the use of further technology within the game.

The revolutionary idea would mean that each manager would be given two challenges to contest a refereeing decision with television pictures used to review evidence.

This World Cup will see goal-line technology used for the first time -- but Blatter wants to see further changes.

Brazil World Cup: It's now or never
Who will be the stars of the World Cup?
Cafu talks World Cup

He told delegates: "We could do something more on the field of play.

"Why don't we give team managers the possibility of two challenges for refereeing during the match? If the manager disagrees with a decision why should he not ask for an immediate TV review with the referee?"

The meeting also heard a speech from U.S. lawyer Michael Garcia, the man appointed by FIFA to head an investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which were awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively.

Garcia has been given the task of probing allegations of bribery and corruption, but his findings are not due to be made public until mid-July.

His investigation has been brought into sharp focus by a series of articles in the British newspaper The Sunday Times on the Qatar bid.

The newspaper claims to have unearthed millions of emails and other documentation which allege Qatar's former FIFA member Mohamed Bin Hammam used a multi-million dollar slush fund to buy support for the bid.

The claims have been strenuously denied by Qatar organizers, who in a statement released to CNN Sunday said they had been co-operating fully with Garcia's investigation.

"We remain totally confident that any objective inquiry will conclude we won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup fairly," it added.

The latest controversies come in the countdown to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, which will start Thursday in Sao Paulo with a game between the hosts and Croatia.

Read: Anger over Blatter U-turn

Read: Media scrutiny key to FIFA reform

Read: Pressure mounts on FIFA

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:48 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
updated 12:22 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
updated 2:19 PM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
updated 6:34 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
updated 6:41 PM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
updated 9:10 AM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT