Blatter Claims Over 100 / 208 Votes Already, Pledges Transparency

May 6, 2011

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has spoken to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, claiming to have over 100 votes secured already in his presidential battle with Mohamed Bin Hammam, with just 208 available at the June 1 elections.

Blatter stated: “I imagine I have half the votes in Asia and Africa and a big majority in the rest of the world. At least over a hundred.”

When asked if rejecting an increase in World Cup places for CONCACAF would cost him votes he claimed: “It could cost votes but I look into the future with confidence.”

The current Swiss incumbent went on to claim that his presidential challenger was aiming to “turn the entire world of football on its head”, adding that this is something which cannot be done and that he has “trust in the traditional values of our game and its pyramid organisation.”

Blatter claimed that a presidential term of at least 8 years is paramount to any candidates success, saying that any incumbent should then be permitted to bid for an additional 4-year term, saying: “Eight years is a mandate where you can say you can achieve something. You can then extend it by another four years.”

In putting himself forward for re-election, Blatter is aiming for a record fourth term, spanning his presidency over 16 years. Despite claiming that 12 years should be “enough”, the 75-year-old added: “You can’t count my first four years in charge because there were people who wanted to drive me out of the centre of FIFA. I didn’t have time to focus on my mission, on the essentials.

Blatter also promised to be more open and transparent in the wake of recent corruption scandals if he wins a fourth term as head of soccer’s world governing body, admitting that negative perceptions towards FIFA are down to poor communication as well as improper conduct by a minority of those in authority.

Blatter wrote in his column for insideworldfootball: “The results of communicative ineptitude can be devastating for all those in an organisation who are decent and hard working. It is always a few who destroy lives and the image and reputation of many.”

He added that he is willing to address the allegations of financial corruption within the body by publishing FIFA’s annual figures in even more detail, adding: “I am proud to state that it was under my leadership as FIFA President that we started to publish our figures for the world to see in 2003 for the first time – and have adhered to that policy ever since, and in ever more detail.”