‘Fifa is my life’ – Blatter

2011-04-20 13:27

In his first direct appeal to Fifa voters, Sepp Blatter has asked them to reject revolution and re-elect him president on June 1.

Blatter insists in a letter to 208 national associations published today that he can provide “stability, continuity and reliability” in a world of political and economic turmoil.

Blatter also promised to spread $1 billion (about R6.7 billion) among Fifa members for development projects over the next four years, and tackle the threats of “corruption, match-fixing and doping”.

It’s Blatter’s first campaign statement since being challenged last month by his former ally Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar, who is not mentioned in the four-page manifesto.

The 75-year-old Swiss, who has led football’s world governing body since 1998, seeks a fourth four-year presidential term that he says will be his last.
“I have all the motivation, experience, ideas and energy necessary to complete my mission,” Blatter wrote.

With Fifa often accused of corruption on his watch, Blatter also promised a strong monitoring role for its ethics committee. It suspended two members of Fifa’s 24-man executive committee from the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting votes last December

“I will ensure discipline, respect and fair play on and off the field,” Blatter said.

Blatter’s announcement follows one month after Bin Hammam, the Asian Football Confederation president, launched his campaign in Kuala Lumpur.

Bin Hammam has pledged to share more of Fifa’s power with its six continental confederations, offer 17 extra seats on the executive body and double annual grants to the 208 members.

The 61-year-old Qatari, who played a key role in his country winning the 2022 rights, also promised to create a transparency panel to help restore public faith in Fifa.

Blatter’s letter opened with descriptions of a world affected by “natural and nuclear catastrophes”, financial turmoil and “political instability and revolution in many regions”.

“In these challenging times, Fifa needs first stability, continuity and reliability,” said Blatter, who was secretary general for 17 years before becoming president.

Shifting power to the six confederations, as Bin Hammam proposes, would “bring the football pyramid out of balance,” Blatter said.

“We do not need revolution within Fifa, but the continuous evolution and improvement of our game and our organisation,” he added.

Blatter reminded voters that Fifa had organised 49 tournaments, including three World Cups, under his leadership and vastly increased revenues and spending, thanks to “the professionalism of Fifa’s administration”.

Fifa has distributed $1.6 billion in development payments since 1998 for a 57-fold increase in funding under Blatter.

Blatter said 194 countries have shared $262 million through the Goal project which he created.

The programme was administered by Bin Hammam.

Fifa’s commercial income rose 16-fold since 1998, and totalled $4.2 billion in the four-year financial cycle tied to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Blatter said.

In the past year he drove through extra payments of $550 000 to each member as a share of World Cup profits while also increasing Fifa’s reserve funds.

“As you will recall, Fifa did not have any reserves in 1998,” he said. It now has $1.2 billion in the bank.

Blatter pledged to intensify Fifa support for social, education and health programmes, and promote the “universality of football across all countries and cultures”.

Fifa election rules require the winning candidate to get a two-thirds majority of valid votes cast in the first ballot, or a majority in the second.

Suspended members, which currently includes Bosnia-Herzegovina and Brunei, can’t attend the congress in Zurich or vote.

Blatter closed by urging voters “let’s go for it - together”.

“Football is my life, Fifa is my life,” he said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.