Blatter returned for fourth FIFA term

Sepp Blatter has been elected as president of world football governing body FIFA for a fourth consecutive term.

As an attempt by the English FA to have the vote postponed faltered, Blatter completed a seemingly inevitable triumph during the annual FIFA conference in Zurich.

Blatter, who has held the post since 1998, won a total of 186 votes.

Following months of revelations from disgruntled FIFA members he has promised to implement changes at the organisation.

Recent allegations have centred on the selection of Qatar as the host for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, despite its lack of footballing tradition, poor infrastructure, soaring temperatures and dearth of suitable stadia.

“We have been hit and I personally have been slapped,” said the 75-year-old Blatter.

“We have made mistakes and we will learn from this.

“I can say to a certain extent that this is a good warning, not just to look into our problems and I am willing to face the public anger in order to serve football.”

Blatter stated all members of the FIFA committee – not just the executive – will have a vote in the selection of future World Cup hosts.

Postponement

The English FA had earlier asked for the vote to be postponed in the name of a democratic FIFA.

Blatter stood unopposed following a week of political wrangling which saw his only opponent Mohamed Bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Federation, effectively disqualified.

FA chairman, David Bernstein, said: “It gives me no pleasure to make this speech.

“A lot of people have warned me I shouldn’t be making this speech but FIFA is a democratic organisation.

“We are faced with an unsatisfactory situation. We are subject to universal criticism from governments, sponsors, media and the wider world.

“With this background the election has turned into one-horse race.”

The FA had announced before the congress that it would be abstaining from the presidential vote.

However, the move received little support, with FIFA members unwilling to support the last minute move.

Blatter

Addressing delegates following his re-election Blatter said: “We will have four more years, provided the Lord gives me life.

“We will put the FIFA ship back on the right course, amid clear, transparent waters.

“We are strong. Our pyramid is strong; the same as the game, our game, is around the world.

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