Downtrodden in the quagmire of multimillion corruption, nepotism and arrests, the week at FIFA head-quarters in Zurich concluded re-election of President Sepp Blatter for the fifth time in office. Blatter, 79, President since 1998, earlier defied UEFA chief Michael Platini’s call to step down. Blatter convincingly defeated Jordan’s Prince Ali-Bin-Al-Hussein 133-73 in the first round of the polls, but fell 7 votes short of a two-third majority which forced a second round of voting.
Bin-Al-Hussein pulled out of the second round polls, a move which paved the way for Blatter to retain his office for yet another term. Ahead of voting, Blatter, who joined FIFA in 1975 said that his tenure at the game’s apex governing body was very “short.”
“What is time anyway. I find that the time I have spent at FIFA is very short,” he said.
“The more one ages the more time flies by quickly. I am with you, and I would like to stay with you
Prince Ali revealed,”It’s been a wonderful journey… And I want to thank in particular those of you who were brave enough to support me.”
Michel Platini, who led the move against Blatter by voting for Prince Ali, said, “I am proud that Uefa has defended and supported a movement for change at Fifa, change which in my opinion is crucial if this organisation is to regain its credibility.”
A U.S. prosecution indicted 14 top FIFA officials for corruption and seven of them were arrested from Zurich on Wednesday.
Blatter though hailed his victory in his speech that cited God and Allah, “I am not perfect, nobody is perfect, but we will do a good job together I am sure.
“I take the responsibility to bring back Fifa where it should be… Let’s go Fifa! Let’s go Fifa!”
Blatter seemed to be unmoved by the increasing death toll of workers at Qatar during the construction of the 2022 World Cup infra-structure. It is reported by several sources that almost 1200 migrant workers have died in the Asian country while working in inhuman conditions. There are serious allegations against the FIFA officials of awarding the right to host the game’s mega-event by pocketing million-dollar bribes from 2010 edition at South Africa, especially to Qatar, a country with no relevant football culture to show. Despite everything, Blatter smoothly managed to hold office, bagging a thumping majority of votes from 209 members as FIFA is doling out more annual grant and a much tastier pie from the World Cup to football’s developing countries of Asia and Africa. The elections reflect once more that most of the democratic processes of the sports’ governing bodies have been reduced to mere auctions. And in Zurich, it is money-power that settles the scores these days.