Blatter confirms fifth FIFA term bid, blasts FA

SEPP Blatter has confirmed he will definitely stand for a fifth term as Fifa president and accompanied the announcement with a blast at the Football Association.

Sepp Blatter: Fifth FIFA term bid. Picture: AP
Sepp Blatter: Fifth FIFA term bid. Picture: AP

Blatter had said in 2011 that he would stand down next year, but has now firmed up expectations that he will run for another four years.

The FA was among the national governing bodies that had publicly opposed him doing so – and Blatter claimed the organisation has “forgotten” fair play and was a bad loser following its humiliating defeat in the bid for the 2018 World Cup.

The 78-year-old, whose announcement comes after Uefa president Michel Platini’s decision last month that he will not stand for the Fifa post, said he would officially inform the Fifa executive committee of his plans on 23 and 24 September.

Blatter said in a video interview played at the Soccerex conference in Manchester: “I will inform the executive committee. It’s a question of respect also to say then to the football family, ‘Yes I will be ready, I will be a candidate’.

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“You see a mission is never finished. And my mission is not finished.”

He said the backing of the majority of the national associations at the Fifa Congress in Sao Paulo in June had convinced him to keep going – though FA chairman Greg Dyke was among those who spoke out against Blatter in Brazil.

Blatter said he “still respects” Dyke, who is “a good guy”, but that England should take defeat gracefully.

He added: “In football, this game that you start to play at the youngest possible level, you learn discipline, respect and fair play.

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“If you’re at the higher level, you forget that this is discipline, respect and fair play. You’ve forgotten it. But, at least, don’t forget that in football, you learn to win but also to lose. So, therefore, I appeal to all those to go back to the essence of football, and then you learn to lose. I have lost a lot of times but, if you lose, then you stay there and you try to be better. And then, stay fair – that’s all.

“Fair play was invented by England, Great Britain – the beautiful game and fair play. So let’s celebrate fair play.”

At the Uefa Congress in Paris in March 2011, Blatter told delegates he would definitely stand down in 2015.

Blatter said then: “You know very well that I am a candidate for the next four years as Fifa president but these will be the last four years for which I stand as a candidate.”

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Platini and a number of Uefa countries, including Scotland and England, have publicly stated they will not support Blatter standing for a fifth term in office.

Fifa executive committee member Prince Ali Bin al Hussein of Jordan said Blatter had the right to change his mind and stand again but said there should be term limits for all Fifa elected officials.

He said: “According to our statutes he has the full right to stand again regardless of what he has said and what he hasn’t.

“I do think our process of reform needs to continue and eventually we should look at instituting term limits not just for the Fifa president but for executive committee members as well, including myself. It’s always good to have new ideas.

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“In Asia we have an age limit, personally I don’t believe in an age limit but I do believe in term limits. You serve the time you have and that’s that, and people would be much happier to know when their term will end.”

Prince Ali said it would be “healthy” if Blatter had a challenger in the election.

“Sure – competition should bring out the best in us and that’s healthy,” he added.

In the interview, Blatter also expanded on his plan to allow managers to challenge refereeing decisions via TV replays and said trials could take place in future Fifa tournaments.

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He said: “I will bring it to the attention 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 one Fifa competition, we can try in a youth competition to do so – an under-20. Like next year, we are in the under-20 in New Zealand. So we could test such challenge calls.”