Sepp Blatter wins the fifth consecutive term as FIFA’s president on Friday after his opponent, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan withdrew from the race.
Mr. Blatter received 133 votes, just short of the two-thirds majority required for the victory while Prince Ali received 73 on the first ballot. This necessitated a second ballot which required only a simple majority, making Prince Ali a long shot, and he decided to withdraw from the race.
With his victory, Mr. Blatter, 79, will continue his 40-year career with FIFA where he has served as president since 1998.
Mr. Blatter congratulated Prince Ali for what he said was “a very good result,” then told the delegates, “I like you,” adding: “For the next four years, I will be in command of this boat called FIFA. And we will bring it back on shore.”
“I want to thank, in particular, all of you who were brave enough to support me,” Prince Ali said.
Meanwhile Companies like Coca-Cola, Visa and Adidas have been advised to put pressure on FIFA to clean up its mess after a corruption scandal that led seven soccer officials being arrested and 14 indicted in a separate U.S. corruption probe.
There has been a string of FIFA’s scandal ranging from past allegations of corruption to the abuse of laborers building World Cup venues in Qatar.
“If you are putting many, many millions of euros into a business, then you definitely have a right and responsibility to demand that you are not tainted,” said Cobus de Swardt, the managing director of campaigning group Transparency International.
De Swardt went on and spoke of the FIFA corruption scandal acting as a “wake-up call” for everyone involved with FIFA, especially the companies to push for big changes to football governing body.
He had called for the FIFA presidential election to be postponed and the leader of FIFA, Sepp Blatter not to run again.
“FIFA needs a new start,” said de Swardt. “These scandals have taken place under Sepp Blatter’s watch.”
FIFA’s partners, which are companies that support the soccer body through long-term contracts, include Adidas, Coca-Cola, Visa, Gazprom and Hyundai/KIA Motors. They have the right to use official FIFA trademarks in their advertising campaigns, exposure in and around stadiums and protection against ambush marketing.
Second-tier sponsors such as Budweiser and McDonald’s, who pay to be involved during and around the World Cup tournaments, are also in the calling of change in FIFA.
FIFA chief Sepp Blatter insists any kind of misconduct will be dealt following the arrest of leading football officials.
“Let me be clear: such misconduct has no place in football and we will ensure that those who engage in it are put out of the game,” Blatter said in a statement on FIFA’s website.
“This is a difficult time for football, the fans and for FIFA as an organisation.
“We understand the disappointment that many have expressed and I know that the events of today will impact the way in which many people view us.
“As unfortunate as these events are, it should be clear that we welcome the actions and the investigations by the US and Swiss authorities and believe that it will help to reinforce measures that FIFA has already taken to root out any wrongdoing in football.”
TIMELINE OF THE FIFA SCANDAL
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