Sepp Blatter ‘to step down as Fifa president in four years’
The 75-year-old says four-year term would be his last if he is re-elected in June as Platini remains coy on vote
Sepp Blatter has announced he will step down as Fifa president in four years’ time if he is re-elected in June.
Blatter, 75, is seeking a fourth term in charge of the governing body and is being challenged by Qatar’s Mohamed bin Hammam in this summer’s election.
“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,” said Blatter at the Uefa Congress in Paris on Tuesday.
It has been suggested that Blatter chose to reveal the news in Paris in an attempt to win the support of Uefa president Michel Platini, who this week refused to rule out the prospect of running for the Fifa presidency in four years’ time.
“Let’s meet again in three years and then I will tell you,” Platini said.
Asian confederation chief Bin Hammam is expected to seek an eight-year reign as president and it has been claimed Platini could support Blatter so he could stand for election himself in 2015.
Uefa holds a strong hand in the Fifa election, with European executives making up a large percentage of the vote.
But Platini, who was re-elected as Uefa president unopposed this week, insists he has not yet decided whose side he will take in June.
The former France captain said: “There are two candidates. I’m going to think about it, consult with my vice-presidents and the executive committee and see what position we will adopt. I can’t think about myself any more.”
“To have two candidates is good for democracy, good for ideas, for change, for everything. It’s good for Fifa.”
Blatter’s opponent Bin Hammam says he wants to make Fifa more transparent, starting by making the bidding process for future World Cups more open.
“It’s reasonable and logical to vote openly. It happens in other organisations, why shouldn’t it happen in Fifa?” Bin Hammam told the BBC.
He added: “I think I can rehabilitate Fifa’s reputation. This is my vision and this is my goal. If I fail, then I fail. I’m looking for the support of everybody.”
Fifa has set a deadline of 1 April for other candidates to be nominated for June’s election.
1) Robert Guerin (1904-1906) – France
2) Daniel Burley Woolfall (1906-1918) – England
3) Jules Rimet (1921-1954) – France
4) Rodolphe Seeldrayers (1954-1955) – Belgium
5) Arthur Drewry (1955-1961) – England
6) Stanley Rous (1961-1974) – England
7) JoÃƒ£o Havelange (1974-1998) – Brazil
8) Sepp Blatter (1998-Incumbent) – Switzerland