FIFA’s Congress has opted to re-elect embattled president Sepp Blatter for a fifth term, amid an international scandal inside the organization that apparently dates back some 20 years.
The 79-year-old Blatter, who has been president of FIFA since 1998, defeated Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan.
The FIFA vice-president had run on a platform of change, emphasizing the need to return transparency, accountability and inclusiveness to the world’s football governing body.
Of the 209 delegates of national football associations voting, Blatter took 133 votes in the first round, failing to secure the two-thirds majority he needed to be re-elected.
Prince Ali got 73 votes in the first round and withdrew from the race before a second round commenced.
Blatter was widely expected to win, as he had the support of the Asian Federation Confederation members (including Qatar), as well as the African bloc.
Blatter’s reelection comes days after the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland, where FIFA is headquartered, launched a criminal investigation in connection to the World Cup tournaments being awarded to Russia and Qatar.
Also this week, the US ordered the arrest of several FIFA executives on charges of racketeering, fraud and other crimes that date back to the mid-1990s.
The US indictments appear to be unrelated to the allegations of bribery that have tainted Qatar’s bid to host the World Cup.
However, some of the individuals targeted, including former vice president Jack Warner, have previously been named in connection to the Gulf country’s efforts to host the tournament.
Addressing these charges, Blatter, who does not face any accusations of wrong-doing, said FIFA would continue to work with authorities and within the organization “to root out any misconduct, to regain your trust and ensure that football worldwide is free from wrongdoing.”
In a victory speech tonight, Blatter added “we will bring (FIFA) back” onshore, and said he would “not touch the World Cups,” presumably referring to the 2018 and 2022 bids.
This afternoon, the 2022 World Cup organizing committee in Qatar broke its silence over the developments of the last few days, reiterating that it hopes the World Cup unites people and accelerates positive change.
In a statement, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy continued:
“We wish to reiterate that we have fully complied with every investigation that has been initiated concerning the 2018/2022 bidding process and will continue to do so, should this be requested.
We conducted our bid with integrity and to the highest ethical standards.”
It’s hard to put into words how much I hate Septic Bladder, only if he dies prematurely and unpleasantly on the same day as Henry Kissinger will I be happy………
I don’t like him either, but it’s cruel to wish death upon someone because of that…
Bit of prejudice coming out there?
Deleting for wishing someone an unpleasant death.
Fair enough, although, seeing as you used the singular ‘someone’, thanks for by default agreeing with me about Kissinger……you must have read ‘The Trial of Henry Kissinger’ too……..it’s beyond damning.
Voted in again by all his cronies who have benefited from all the corruption so whilst we wait for the FBI to nail this melt it’s time for UEFA to come out all guns blazing leading to all European teams to pull out of the next World Cup until he steps down.
On the plus side, the average life expectancy in Switzerland is 81…..
Unfortunately, at a global level, it is not clear to many what is the real motivation of the uproar; the Russia-Qatar decision or corruption in which many are implicated including European institutions and banks. In the end, it just seems that UEFA is angry that the world is changing and there are other regions capable of influencing FIFA decisions. Blatter has to go no matter how many votes he gets. It’s famiiar behaviour for those of us who lived (or are living) under dictators the West supports/supported regardless of how the people feel. At least in this case, Blatter’s victory could not be denied.
Other regions have always been able to influence the way FIFA is set up. And when promises are made to help an impoverished nation develop soccer (wink wink) influence is easily peddled. Why else would the so called “help” be delivered in a suitcase in a hotel rom and not wired like normal? That Blatter is able to manipulate the system that way is a problem. That the crimes were committed on american soil, thru american banks is just what the new attorney general in the US could hope for. A signature global case. To put this on any developed countries plate is misguided.
Actually they haven’t which is why Europe has hosted the most World Cups. Now, you have economies in South America, Asia etc. that can host the games. Consequence? UEFA decides to act like a petulant child; if they can’t have it their way, they must do their best to make everyone miserable.
By the way Blatter has indeed done a lot for football: women’s football was not taken seriously before Blatter neither was the development of youth soccer. And yes, FIFA has boosted football in many developing countries.
Yes, Blatter is a real pioneer, a true feminist when it comes to women and the the beautiful game!
It is unfortunate that women’s football has encountered the same issues women have faced in other sports. But when a witch hunt is underway, it is not surprising that such stories will run without mentioning all that he has done to build women’s soccer (this is worldwide and not just in developing countries). Yes, Blatter shouldn’t have said what he said but does that give one a right to ignore all his endeavours?
Go Blatter !
a good win in the end
It was a game of two halves
It was obvious he would win because he has done so much for so many FIFA delegates, sorry I mean FIFA Confederations, around the world. He would have been better advised to retire actually, because the US will now not rest until they’ve tied him in to the corruption. I look forward to that day which I have no doubt will come.
Lets hope he spends his last day in Prison.
He thinks his FIFA presidency can save him… Little he knows that it is now completely out of his hands, his friends’ hands and Switzerland’s hands too. It is a game of time and the USA/Europe alliance on this matter will have some consequences.
It’s good to know the man who has managed to survive over a decade of challenges to his presidential seat, corruption allegations against his organization and has until now remained untouched for any of the scandals, has less knowledge about his prospects of “survival” than a DN commentator. Maybe he should use some of that lucrative FIFA salary to hire you as an adviser.
LOL. Blatter should hire you as his recruitment coordinator 🙂
He can’t afford to hire me. My msba7 collection alone is worth his life savings. 😉
It s not about money, it’s all about power
Well he has more power than me, I can’t do sh** for him power wise.
Sometimes dreams actually do come true. The US is on a mission here.
Hopefully a successful one.
Might not be his last days, but he will see the inside of one unless he dies first, just a matter of time.
Seeing how many times he has evaded it, I wouldn’t be surprised if he does manage to do so again this time.
Always a possibility, but this is a qualitatively different case with the Garcia report, the million plus docs, files from the raid, and info from squealing current arrestees being available to prosecutors. This much info has never been available before, and his organization has never had 3 simultaneous investigations at once. This is a different kettle of fish.
Correction, Brazil just started their own investigation so make that four.
Australian Federal Police are considering evidence presented to them and will shortly decide whether to open an investigation.
How many does that make?
Five – I expect to see South Africa announce that they are starting an investigation any day now. I wonder if Russia and Qatar will open investigations?
LOL, Qatar and Russia investigate?
I know, I know, but stranger things have happened. Just the other day I saw a white land cruiser stop and the the driver help a little old lady across the well-marked and convenient crosswalk.
What difference does it make when the facade of anti-corruption began with those who are “developed”.
Why isn’t always a “us vs the west” thing with you?
Both countries have investigated and their conclusions were the same: the bid committees have strictly adhered to FIFA’s process 🙂
It took one country to get the ball rolling. Where was everyone before?
Well, since about 2010 – waiting for the results of the American process, this has been building for a while. Before that, I can’t say.
I am SO HAPPY Blatter won. No I am not being sarcastic. Think about it guys, if Prince Ali won, do YOU think he would do anything to upset the current World Cup bid winners??? Do you think he wants to piss Russia off or ruin the Qatar – Jordan relations, knowing they were only fixed in 2011.
Also another EXTREMELY important note is, lets say infact Prince Ali did win (God bless him, his sister, his late father and his whole family), do you really think its FAIR for him to clean up ALL of Blatters corruption for the past 20 years? I am pretty sure – as the commentator on Abu Dhabi TV said this evening, – Blatter had only TWO options,1) win 2) go to jail. Blatter had to win this election. Atleast now we can sit back and see him get bombarded daily by the press and see him pathetically try and defend FIFA and continuously fail. This is the reality of what will actually happen. Having Prince Ali win the vote is like seeing whats happening to Obama. Bush drove the US economy to the ground and Obama was elected and is trying to fix it and has failed miserably. Whatever happens Qatar and Russia will never lose the World Cup. Atleast now we can see more corruption be pinned on Septic Blatter and eventually see him go to jail in a few years or continue seeing how FIFA will remain corrupt until end of days.
I was really sad when I saw the look on Prince Ali’s face, but end of the day he really cannot fix what the Sep Blatter has done so far.
Thats my 0.02 dollars on the matter,
Prince Ali will become the president soon. Sepp is now counting his days and he knows it. After the FBI nails him down, Prince Ali will be his replacement. Also, Qatar would want to worry on how to restore its image rather than cut ties with Jordan, if proven guilty.
Qatar wanted to build itself a brand and what a brand it built….
It is a win-win situation for Qatar. Neither Blatter nor Prince Ali would be interested in reopening the selection of Russia and Qatar issue. That would be fair, as FIFA has a monopoly over the World Cup and the host country selection. If you want to play, you play by FIFA’s rules, or you are out. Do players dive, hoping to get a penalty shot? You bet. If you get it, you win the game. If you get caught, you get a yellow card. The fact that so many players do it suggests that it is a risk worth taking. If the referee is asleep (for reasons unknown or perhaps £€$¥) and does call the dive, so much better.
Wow, you just know everything don’t you!
It’s great to know I can count myself among the few who have witnessed the FIFA political prophecies freshly foretold in the DN comments section.
Deleting for attack.
If Blatter goes it won’t be Ali replacing him, many better candidates will come forward when the field is clear.
Now everything is in the hands of FIFA’s major sponsors. They actually prefer to be called “partners”. Is it good for the brand to continue its partnership with a tainted organization is being debated in emergency board meetings as we speak.
Nike is also under the scanner if you have read the reports. Its crazy to think that this is going to have an impact on the brands.
Time will tell. Partners had not been renewing their partnership with FIFA lately, if you have read the reports.
It will be great if they stick with it.
Oh no, please, please, that will mean another price increase at QDC 🙂
sony was already mired in losses, so no surprises there. Emirates was not interested in renewing.
How well did boycotts work against corporations that operated sweatshops in poorer Asian countries?
Despite what they say, a significant number of people put their personal interests/comfort before anything else, and if that requires them to wear a pair of comfy sneakers at the expense of some underpaid worker slaving away to produce it, so be it.
The only reason most international fans would “boycott” the 2022 WC would be because why would they spend a good sum of money to go to a place that will bore them, not have the festive atmosphere that is associated with less conservative places, and on top of that have to always be conscious about how they behave/dress lest they incur the wrath of local enforcement/ conservatives.
Spot on – plus they may have a view on human rights as well.
Yeah, maybe a handful, as it has never really been an issue to prevent hundreds of thousands of foreigners to agree to work in Qatar…
Unfortunately we’ve already had some lily-livered pronouncements from the sponsors who’s first obligation is to the millions of dollars they make out of the sponsorship. They won’t jump until things get really really bad.
So what happens next? Swiss police investigation shuts it down or QNB and Qatar airways become the only sponsors? Place your bets please
Long live the great unity of football! Long live the only man who can achieve it! Long live the humble and honourable Sepp Blatter!!!
FIFA elections remind me of the ones held by despotic regimes where you already know the outcome before the voting even begins, so you’re not really guessing who will win the elections as much as by what percentage of the votes will the predetermined winner win. At least Blatter is more generous than some dictators who have won their elections with over 99% of the votes, the former gives the competition the impression they had a fighting chance! Lol.
LOL, Blatter reminds me of the old Soviet Union where the leader was replaced only after his death 🙂
There are some regimes in the world that don’t even have elections………….
Well those regimes are more honest about the choice their subjects have I guess, no need for farcical elections.
Agreed, a one-horse race is even more pathetic than no race at all
How are all of us assuming that he is corrupt when no charge has been proven against him. Isn’t he like other people of the world – innocent till proven guilty.
Whether he is corrupt or not is irrelevant, he has presided over 20 years of corruption as CEO. How many other CEOs would not have been fired or resigned if that was their record at the top. He either new of the institutional corruption then he is guilty or if he didn’t know about, (what he says) they he is incompetent and should resign or be forced out.
such selective amnesia is not surprising.
Innocent until proven guilty is good for the criminal court. On the balance of probabilities, Blatter is corrupt, incompetent or both, just as MIMH wrote. Only a nontransparent, nondemocratic, authoritarian, greedy organization would re-elect such a leader four times in a row.
he is either guilty himself or by implication – the organisation is rotten to the core and its all happened on his watch – he is therefore responsible – and honourable person, or credible organisation would have seen himstep down in shame – but he has NONE !
I wonder if FIFA and Qatar will apologise to the British media after accusing them of telling lies, being racist and bad losers.
For the first time in probably 20 years and international intervention by the Americans is welcomed around the world. With the Swiss launching an investigation, and now the UK getting in on the act it is not looking good for Qatar. If as it seems every bid was compromised over the last 20 years, (except Brazil which was based on blatter’s continental rotation and had no rivals. He soon dropped that as not so easy to make money out of the bidders), then Qatar holding the WC in 2022 is probably less than 50/50.
On the plus side Qatar losing the WC will mean less people coming to Qatar, less cars on the roads and less of a waste of money.
Some USA interventions have been for the good, otherwise I agree with the rest of what you said.
The fact they would even push this election ahead is a statement for the ages.One journalist likened him to some powerhouse American Municipal leaders who won against many odds.On that I really disagree.I liken this election to Maduro in Venezuela who pulled off the victory in the emotional wake of Chavez’s death.Maduro was not the right person then and proved his mettle as he pushed his Country further into decline.Blatter will not be able to bring FIFA back-he was CEO and is responsible.To me the bigger picture is the organization and how it was allowed to operate. Fix that.The Russia and Qatar bids would not be the only ones that could be suspect during his 5 times as president-so I feel its best to walk away from that and deal with FIFA’s issues and that includes the person at the top.My 2 Riyals worth.
All World Cup bids under Blatter, including the unsuccessful ones, are suspect.
I agree.I put more onus for fault on FIFA.FIFA should not have allowed any improper bidding,if that was the case.And its looking more now.I just feel going back and trying to sort all that out would drag on and make the mess uglier.Others may arge differently.I am more in favour of sorting out FIFA from top down at this point.
A voting process where the persons who vote are known, yet they vote anonymously and are accountable to no one is the perfect recipe for corruption.
Yes.Then add money and how valuable the bid itself can be and voila.An organization that holds little or no accountable to anyone can be hard to change from within.Under Blatter it seems impossible.yet he is oblivious to that.
With Qatar backing the FIFA extremists, I look forward to the U.S. arming the FIFA moderates.
Blatter and FIFA presidency have taken an eternal vow.”till death do us apart “