Sepp Blatter is leaving absolutely no doubt that next year he will be a candidate for a fifth term in office as FIFA President . “Although my term in office is coming to an end, my mission is not yet been fulfilled”, the FIFA President said during a panel discussion organized by the Swiss tabloid Blick in Zurich. Which cannot really come as a surprise to anyone, because already during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Blatter had said: “If I’m healthy – and at the moment I’m in good shape – I do not see why I should stop my work”. At that time, he emphasized that he would not say no if the member associations urged him to continue. At the event of the Swiss media company Ringier he made his position much clearer: “I want to do it. Because it is not over yet”.
The only question left open now is whether Blatter will face a challenger at the FIFA elections in
May 2015. Jerome Champagne, who as an FIFA employee once was Blatter’s close adviser, has
admittedly already declared his candidacy, but he stressed at the same time that he would probably not
run if Blatter were a candidate. “I would probably not be able to beat Sepp Blatter”, he has been widely
quoted as saying. UEFA President Michel Platini was once considered the designated successor of
Sepp Blatter. Recently he said that only he could beat Blatter, adding that he will announce in summer
whether or not he will be a candidate. Occasionally, Vice-President Jeffrey Webb, President of the
CONCACAF continental federation, from the Cayman Islands, is being tipped as a potential successor to Blatter. But he also says he will not run against Blatter.
Sepp Blatter, 78-years-old in March, has been FIFA President since 1998. In the Neue Zürcher
Zeitung, in connection with his recent comments, it is reported that he still “swims and jogs almost every
day”. Were he to be re-elected next year, at the end of the fifth term of office in 2019, he would have ruled
FIFA for 21 years. Just as long as Juan Antonio Samaranch (1980-2001) was President of the
International Olympic Committee. His predecessor Joao Godefroot Havelange, however, ruled the world
governing body for 24 years.
This article has been republished with permission from Karl-Heinz Huba, the editor and publisher of the Sport Intern.