FIFA chief Blatter gets fourth four-year term despite corruption scandal
The Swiss president of world soccer's governing body won the uncontested election after his only rival dropped out of the race. But FIFA, and its awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, remains under the shadow of allegations of corruption and bribery.
The Swiss president of FIFA, the organization that governs soccer around the globe, won an uncontested fourth consecutive term Wednesday, despite FIFA being enmeshed in the worst scandal since the organization was founded over a century ago.Skip to next paragraph
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Sepp Blatter secured the rubberstamp vote, with 186 of the 208 member countries supporting his candidacy, after his only opponent, Qatar's Mohamed bin Hammam, dropped out of the race earlier this week. Mr. bin Hammam left the race after he was accused of bribing FIFA officials to gain their support in the election against Mr. Blatter.
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Despite the allegations that are casting doubt on the legitimacy of FIFA's World Cup host selections, Blatter insists this is business as usual.
“Crisis? What is a crisis?” Blatter said Tuesday at a press conference.
“We are not in a crisis. We are only in some difficulties,” he said of FIFA, the world’s second biggest sporting body after the Olympic Committee and which has a four year budget that tops $4 billion.
Blatter, who describes himself as a the captain of a ship that should reject external meddling, particularly from journalists and officials demanding accountability, thus sees no need for further investigation of unprecedented corruption rocking the most popular sport in the world.
A shadow over Qatar's World Cup
Topping the cover-up list is the selection of Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup. It isn’t the first time Qatar’s unexpected win over the US, South Korea, Japan, and Australia has come into question. But this time the apparent accusation comes in the words of FIFA’s general secretary Jerome Valcke. He wrote in a recently leaked e-mail that Qatar had “bought” the World Cup. Mr. Vlacke confirmed the authenticity of the e-mail, but said he was referring to Qatar’s “financial strength.”
“I have at no time made, or was intending to make, any reference to any purchase of votes,” he said.