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Sepp Blatter: career highlights of the Fifa President

Sepp Blatter is the eighth president of Fifa, and has worked for football’s governing body for more than 30 years. BTN takes a look at his career highs and lows as he enters his fourth term in charge.

He was born and grew up in Visp, Canton Valais, Switzerland and graduated from the University of Lausanne with a business and economics degree.

His first job was working as the press department of the Valais Tourist Board, and he rose to become its Head of Pubic Relations. He moved into sport, becoming General Secretary of the Swiss Ice Hockey Federation, Director of Sports Timing and Relations of Longines.

In 1973 he became president of The Zurich Brown Shirts, a semi-professional team. Since 1975 Blatter has been working at FIFA, first as Technical Director (1975–1981), then General Secretary (1981–1998) before his election as FIFA President in 1998.

He won the top job after a fierce contest with Lennard Johansson, the then-president of Europe’s governing body Uefa. One of his campaign promises was to take the World Cup to Africa – a pledge he fulfilled on 2010.

He was re-elected as head of FIFA in 2002 and was re-elected unopposed for another four years in 2007 even though only 66 of 207 FIFA members nominated him.

Blatter is running unopposed for a fourth term as FIFA president. The only other candidate, Qatar’s Mohammed bin Hammam withdrew from the presidential race on the 28th May after falling out with Blatter over issues within the FIFA Executive Committee.

Football rule changes under Blatter
Since the 2002 World Cup, the current World Cup champion no longer automatically qualifies for the next World Cup finals.

National associations must now enforce immediate suspensions of all players sent off during a game, even if television replays offer compelling evidence of a player’s innocence.

In 2004, the game implemented the booking of players who remove their shirts after scoring a goal, as well as those who are guilty of “over-zealous celebrations”.

Sport Tourism – a booming industry
Sport Tourism is travel industry’s fastest growing sector, and contributed an astonishing 14 percent of overall travel and tourism receipts in 2010, according to WSDE Sport Tourism Expo, the only global exhibition and business forum dedicated to showcasing the full spectrum of Sport Tourism related products and services.

At a time when some traditional tourism trends are in decline, Sport Tourism continues to flourish and is set to grow exponentially in the next decade.

Yet the complex mechanics of Sport Tourism have not yet been fully understood or realised.  The annual WSDE Sport Tourism Expo aims to present the future business deals and source new contacts and markets, but also to gain invaluable insights from the advanced knowledge of market leaders.

Now in its second year, WDSE Sport Tourism Expo will take place in Bangkok, Thailand - Asia’s Sport Tourism Gateway - from 27-29 September 2011. FInd out about Bangkok at

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