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Blatter Confirms Standing For Fifa Presidency

Mon 8th Sep 2014 | FIFA

So now we know for definite.  Europe, in the shape of Uefa, may not like it but  Sepp Blatter will be standing for a fifth term as Fifa president next May.

Confirming the most open secret in football politics, Blatter told delegates at Soccerex that will formally make his announcement at the Fifa executive committee later this month.

The 78-year-old Swiss had to postpone his actual appearance at Soccerex because of a series of high-profile meetings back at Fifa hq, not least the first session of the special Task Force – comprising all key stakeholders in the game – to examine whether to switch the 2022 Qatar World Cup to winter from its traditional June-July slot, a decision on which will be made next March.

“A mission is never finished and my mission is not finished,” said Blatter, who milked the occasion by re-iterating the support he has had from every confederation except Europe who rounded on him just before the World Cup and told him to go.

“In Sao Paulo, I got not only the impression of, but the support of, the huge majority of national associations asking me: ‘Please go on to be our president in the future.’

“Now I will make an official declaration in September when we have our next executive committee meeting. This is a matter of respect that I should inform the executive committee that I will be ready, I will be a candidate.”

With Michel Platini already out of the equation, having decided to stay at Uefa, chances are that Blatter may well be unchallenged for the second straight time, although Jerome Champagne is still in the running, at present at least, and at least one more candidate could emerge before the January deadline.

Regarding the Task Force meeting in Zurich, Blatter said leagues, clubs and the entire footballing family had gone to Zurich “to identify what is the best possible solution and when is the best possible moment to play in Qatar. But that decision is not yet taken. Definitely not.

“And concerning the other one in 2018, in Russia, which is also having some problems.... there are already some voices coming out about 2018 talking about a boycott – a boycott in sport never has had any benefit. Let us wait and see the geo-political situation and Fifa shall not intervene with politics. We are monitoring that but not interfering.”

What else did he have to say? Well he hinted strongly that it would be North America’s turn after Qatar to stage the World Cup, said he should be granted greater respect by those who attack the way he runs Fifa and refused to be drawn, following the as yet unpublished but probably explosive report by Fifa’s ethics commission investigator, Michael Garcia into possible corruption over the 2018 and 2022 bid process, into what penalties may or may not be meted out.

He also repeated his cry for points deductions and elimination from competitions for those guilty of the worst cases of racism and expanded on his idea of allowing coaches to have two tennis-style appeals each for controversial refereeing decisions.

“I will bring it to the attention (of the law-making International FA Board) and perhaps we will find a league, a professional or semi-professional league, they will try to do it. It can only be done where there is television coverage of all the matches. Or in a Fifa competition, maybe in a youth competition ... so we could test such challenge calls.”

Keep up to date with the latest news from Soccerex on Twitter @fcbusiness #Soccerex 

Image: Action Images

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