In a series of posts the award-winning Footy Antics takes a look at the candidates for FIFA presidency. First up, current president Sepp Blatter.
Over the coming weeks Footy Antics will look at the candidates for the FIFA presidency. First up is current FIFA president, Sepp Blatter.
The first and most obvious candidate is Sepp Blatter; the current president of FIFA who has been in the position since 1998. Blatter began his time at FIFA in 1975 as a Technical Director and has been re-elected as president three consecutive times in 2002, 2007 and 2011.
Despite promising UEFA in March 2011 that his current four-year term would be his last, he has opted to run again for the FIFA presidency having ‘changed his mind, as any human being has the right to do so’. Blatter since came out believing he had ‘not finished his mission because it’s his mission to be in football.’
What has he done during his time as FIFA president?
In all fairness to the 78 year-old he has helped multiple different campaigns from charities such as UNICEF, helping them with their ‘Say Yes for Children’ project, as well as a few other notable campaigns like ‘Kick Polio out of Africa’.
As easy as it is to trash-talk Sepp Blatter, especially when you consider FIFA’s corruption scandals, it is clear he has attempted to do some good, most likely less than he has done wrong, but at least he’s tried. When it comes to gender equality in football he hasn’t exactly got the best reputation, producing infamous quotes such as commenting that women should play in ‘more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball.’ They could, he said, ‘have tighter shorts.’
In August, the night before the women’s under-20 World Cup began, Blatter took part in a press conference in which he acknowledged the fact ‘there is something very reluctant’ when it comes to women in football, with football being a very ‘macho’ sport. This seems like a late attempt from him to rescue some support from the world of women’s football.
Last but not least there’s the men’s World Cups. The rights to host the 2018 World Cup have gone to Russia whilst the rights to host the 2022 tournament have gone to Qatar. Not exactly the best selection of countries when it comes to human rights. Qatar are currently the world’s richest nation, I think we can all take a guess into how they managed to get that.
Why should he be re-elected and who will be backing him?
Despite the fact the majority of football fans across the world despise Sepp Blatter, he is still likely to be the best contestant for FIFA president. Member nations from Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean will support Blatter due to the funding they have been receiving during his time as president, money they were not getting before his era began.
There is really little that Blatter can offer to the football public as a whole, though. His main focus seems to be pleasing his loyal voters with funding and perhaps selling the chance to host another World Cup to another nation.
If you’re looking for racist remarks, some sexism and perhaps a tad more corruption to taint the name of FIFA, then Sepp Blatter is probably the man you’re looking for to be FIFA president.
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