Sepp Blatter re-elected unopposed as Fifa president
The 75-year-old Swiss will lead world football's governing body for another four years
Fifa president Sepp Blatter has been re-elected unopposed for a fourth four-year term, pledging “radical” reforms at world football’s governing body.
Blatter, who has held his post at the Zurich-based organisation since 1998, vowed to implement changes in the wake of the allegations of corruption that have rocked Fifa in recent weeks.
Representatives of the voting Fifa member associations were handed ballot papers bearing only Blatter’s name after Mohamed bin Hammam pulled out of the running days before the election before subsequently being suspended pending an investigation into bribery allegations.
“We will steer Fifa’s ship back on course in clear, transparent waters”
Fifa president Sepp Blatter
The 75-year-old received 186 of the 203 votes cast by Fifa’s member associations, despite the English FA’s failed bid to postpone the election to allow another candidate to come forward.
“I would simply like to tell you how deeply moved and honoured I am,” Blatter said upon being re-elected. “This is a new challenge and I accept it.
“We will steer Fifa’s ship back on course in clear, transparent waters.
“I’m happy that we will be able to bring solidarity and unity back into Fifa.”
Blatter earlier insisted that Fifa will learn from recent “mistakes” and promised reforms at the organisation. He told the congress: “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.
“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 need someone who will accept this responsibility. I’m willing to do this. And reforms will be made not just touch-ups but radical decisions, the necessary reforms.
“We must do something because I do not want ever again that we face this undignified situation.”
Meanwhile, FA chairman David Bernstein said England’s bid to postpone Wednesday’s election had been “worthwhile”.
A statement by Bernstein read: “After hearing the speech from Sepp Blatter, we believe the calls we have made for greater transparency and better governance have been worthwhile.
“While we did not succeed in deferring the Fifa presidential election, it was positive to be joined by 16 other nations in supporting our democratic request for the vote to be delayed, while a further 17 nations abstaining clearly shows that we are not alone or isolated in our views in relation to the current situation Fifa finds itself in.”