Fifa election gets green light as FA’s complaints are rejected

Sepp Blatter on brink of fourth term as president after the FA's bid to postpone Wednesday's election failed

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta in Zurich
fifa president sepp blatter
Blatter looks set to win a fourth term in charge this afternoon Photo: via Wikipedia - M Casal

fifa president sepp blatter

Sepp Blatter is on the verge of being re-elected as Fifa president after the FA’s bid to postpone Wednesday’s election failed.

Just 17 of the 208 member football associations backed FA chairman David Bernstein’s calls to put back the vote, leaving the 75-year-old Swiss on the brink of sealing another a fourth term at the helm of Fifa.

England came under heavy fire from critics within Fifa, with senior vice-president Julio Grondona launching a scathing attack against the FA’s bid to postpone the election.

He said: “We always have attacks from England which are mostly lies with the support of journalism which is more busy lying than telling the truth. This upsets and disturbs the Fifa family.

“To present such a project as David Bernstein presented is like shooting a penalty because it cannot be always from the same place that the insults and problems come from.

“We have been hit and I personally have been slapped – we have made mistakes and we will learn from this”
Fifa president Sepp Blatter

“I see it at every congress. They have specific privileges with four countries having one vice-president. I don’t know what our president has said.

“But we have seen the World Cup go around the world, to South America and Africa and it looks like this country does not like it.

“It looks like England is always complaining so please I say will you leave the Fifa family alone, and when you speak, speak with truth.”

In his address to the congress, Bernstein said: “It gives me no pleasure to make this speech. A lot of people have warned me I shouldn’t be making this speech but Fifa is a democratic organisation.

“We are faced with an unsatisfactory situation. We are subject to universal criticism from governments, sponsors, media and the wider world.

“With this background the election has turned into one-horse race.

“In the view of the Football Association this should be avoided both for the sake of Fifa and the president itself. A coronation without an opponent provides a flawed mandate.

fifa congress
Storm clouds gather outside the home of Fifa in Zurich

“I ask for a postponement to allow time for an additional candidate or candidates to stand and compete in an open and fair election.

“Only by so doing will the winner have proper credibility over the next four years.”

Blatter then responded when he took to the podium. He said: “We have been hit and I personally have been slapped. We have made mistakes and we will learn from this.

“I can say to a certain extent that this is a good warning, not just to look into our problems and I am willing to face the public anger in order to serve football.

fifa congress
Grace Jones was among the performers at Tuesday’s opening ceremony

“I am the captain weathering the storm, this is a difficult period for FIFA and I admit that readily. Not only is the pyramid shaking but our ship has drawn some water.

“We must do something because I do not want ever again that we face this undignified situation.”

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