FIFA Faces UEFA Crisis After Sepp Blatter’s Re-Election As President
The 209 FIFA member federations gave the 79-year-old Blatter another four-year term after Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan conceded defeat after losing 133-73 in the first round. which would have been enough to take the contest to a potential second round but 39-year-old challenger withdrew.
The biggest concern for Blatter now will be to keep Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) inside the FIFA, with several of European FA’s having threatened to pull out of the World Cup.
Michel Platini the UEFA chief has said that the organisation will reconsider its relationship with Fifa if Sepp Blatter retains the presidency, in a move which could see the 53 members of UEFA pulling out from the next World Cup set to take place in Russia in 2018.
Greg Dyke, chairman of the English FA, one of football’s richest associations, threw his support behind the principle of a coordinated European boycott of the World Cup in Russia in 2018, but said it would need a consensus within Uefa in order to be a realistic option.
The president of the German Football League Dr Reinhard Rauball has warned that Uefa’s 54 member nations could take the ultimate step of quitting Fifa if Michael Garcia’s report into World Cup bidding is not published in full.
Portuguese legend Luis Figo, himself a candidate before pulling out of the race earlier this month, did not mince his words when speaking about the Swiss.
“If Mr Blatter were minimally concerned about football, he would have given up on re-election,” said the former Portugal star.
“There’s no way someone can lead FIFA ignoring the most elementary rules of transparency, legality and democracy, if he has a minimal of decency, he will resign in the next few days. This vote has only served to endorse the election of a man who can’t remain in charge of world football.” added the formal Portugal captain.
FIFA’s big-money sponsors have also called for change within FIFA. Visa warned Thursday that it could pull out of its contract, which is worth at least $25 million a year through 2022.
With a big UEFA meeting set to take place in Berlin, Germany, it is now to be seen what the decision the European powers take regarding FIFA and Sepp Blatter.