FIFA President Faces Vote Despite Corruption Allegations
FIFA president Sepp Blatter will today stand for re-election amid the worst crisis to hit world football’s governing body in its history.
Mr Blatter has rejected calls to quit after allegations of “rampant, systemic and deep-rooted corruption” engulfed the organisation.
Instead he intends to press on with his attempt to win a fifth term by defeating Prince Ali bin al Hussein of Jordan.
The vote comes amid what Mr Blatter called “unprecedented and difficult times” for FIFA.
On Wednesday, the US Department of Justice charged 14 people over alleged bribes totalling more than $150m (£98m) paid for television rights, sponsorship deals and World Cup votes.
Seven officials have so far been arrested, including Jeffrey Webb, a FIFA vice-president from the Cayman Islands who holds a British passport, and fellow vice-president, Eugenio Figueredo from Uruguay.
Swiss authorities are also investigating the decision to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.
They will question 10 current FIFA executive committee members who took part in the 2010 vote.
Prince Ali the most preferred candidate
The developments have led to UEFA, European football’s governing body, to call for Mr Blatter to step aside.
Michel Platini, the head of UEFA, has also suggested he is open to boycotting the World Cup if Mr Blatter is re-elected.
Prime Minister David Cameron, Culture Secretary John Whittingdale and Football Association chairman Greg Dyke have joined calls for Mr Blatter to step down.
Addressing the growing calls for him to go, Mr Blatter insisted he “cannot monitor everyone all of the time” and said corruption would be rooted out from “top to bottom”.
Whether or not he gets that opportunity will be up to FIFA’s 209 associations, who will vote after both candidates have had the chance to address delegates at the congress.
If either candidate gets two-thirds of the votes in the first round (139 votes) then they will win outright.
If this does not happen, the winner will be whoever gains more votes in the second round.
Mr Platini has estimated at least 45 UEFA members might vote for Prince Ali, while the United States, Canada and Australia have said they will back Mr Blatter’s opponent.
New Zealand Football’s chief executive has also said Mr Blatter is not guaranteed the support of the 11 member nations of the Oceania Football Confederation.
Courtesy: Sky News
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