Sepp Blatter Wins FIFA Presidential Elex Amid Corruption Scandal
A scam and a Jordanian prince for an opponent did nothing to stop Sepp Blatter from winning the re-election.
In the end, nothing could stop Sepp Blatter.
Not a far-reaching corruption scandal. Not a tarnished international image. Not a young prince who gave him a stronger-than-expected challenge.
Despite the biggest crisis in FIFA’s 111-year history, Blatter emerged victorious once again on Friday, winning re-election as president of world soccer’s governing body for a fifth term and proving he is the sport’s ultimate survivor.
“I am now the President of everybody,” the 79-year-old Blatter crowed after defeating Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan to secure another four years in office as one of the most powerful men in sports.
Blatter was declared the victor after Prince Ali withdrew following the first round of secret balloting among FIFA’s 209 member federations. Blatter won the first ballot 133-73, seven votes short of the two-thirds majority required for victory.
Before the start of the second round, where a simple majority would be enough for victory, the 39-year-old prince conceded defeat. By preventing Blatter from securing an outright first-round triumph, Prince Ali gave Blatter a symbolic bloody nose and showed that his previous iron grip on the organization has weakened.
“I want to thank all of you who were brave enough to support me,” Prince Ali told the delegates.
With FIFA in turmoil amid a pair of US and Swiss corruption investigations, Blatter had remained defiant and refused to step down — as demanded by European soccer’s governing body, UEFA.
The result of the one-vote-per-country election proved that Blatter retains the loyalty of the many smaller countries in Africa and Asia, a bloc that is enough to counter his critics in Europe and elsewhere.
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