Sepp Blatter will head world football body Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) for another four-year term. He was re-elected as the president for a fifth term by the FIFA Congress in Zurich. Despite being asked to quit over allegations of corruption, 79-year-old Blatter managed to get votes of 133 member nations in the first round. Blatter fell 7 votes short of a two-third majority. This pushed the election process into the second round but Blatter’s opponent Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Al Hussein conceded defeat before the round began.
Just 3 days ago, top FIFA officials and corporate executives were arrested on multi-million dollar corruption charges, sending out shock waves and outrage in the sporting community. FIFA honchos are accused of amassing millions of dollars in cases relating to fraud, bribery and money laundering.
Soccer leaders from many small countries in Africa and Asia stayed loyal to Blatter, even though the US and Europe openly demanded Blatter’s arrest and ouster from FIFA. The Union of European Football Association (UEFA) president Michel Platini even threatened to pull out of FIFA and withdraw from the World Cup if Blatter was re-elected.
Blatter has blamed others for bringing shame and humiliation to the sport and has promised wide-scale changes and corrections.
“The message to the fans now is trust and confidence. I know that is not so easy, but we have to show that we are doing some movements,” Blatter said after his re-election.