Sepp Blatter vows to ‘bring back Fifa’ as president

Under-fire Fifa president Sepp Blatter has been re-elected despite international pressure for him to step down after the federation was rocked by a £100m (€139m) corruption scandal.

He was re-elected after Prince Ali bin al-Hussein pulled out of the running in the second round of voting.

Britain’s prime minister David Cameron joined calls for Blatter to resign after 18 people were arrested as US and Swiss officials launched investigations into kickbacks, bribes, and “rampant corruption”.

But the Swiss bureaucrat, 79, was determined to hang on to his position and he is set to stay at the helm of the world football governing body for another four years.

Blatter thanked Prince Ali for standing down as a contender despite his “very good result.”

He told the hall: “Thank you that you accepted me, that for the next four years I will be in command of this boat called Fifa, and we will bring it back, off shore, and back to the beach, we will bring it back, where finally football can be played, beach soccer can be played everywhere.”

He said there were organisational problems to solve and changes to make in some competitions, but they would not touch the World Cup.

“I take the responsibility to bring back Fifa, we can do it, and I’m convinced we can do it.” He received a standing ovation at the end of a speech which he finished with: “Let’s go Fifa! Let’s go Fifa!”

Meanwhile, asked why he had withdrawn from the race, Prince Ali said there were 73 national associations who had been “really brave” and he said: “I did it for them. I don’t want them to be in any more trouble.”

John Delaney, CEO of the Football Association of Ireland, believes that despite Blatter’s victory, the pressure of the latest crisis will mean he does not see out his four-year term.

He told Press Association Sport: “I still think this is the beginning of the end of Sepp Blatter. I don’t see him seeing his four years out — the momentum is too great. We have to see how best we can use the European muscle. We also need to go on a charm offensive with Africa and Asia.”

England’s Football Association chairman Greg Dyke says he would be “very surprised” if Blatter was still Fifa president in two years.

Earlier, he backed the idea of a co-ordinated European boycott of the World Cup and speaking after the vote in Zurich, said: “This is not over by any means. To quote the [US] attorney general, this is the beginning of the process, not the end.


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