Blatter Confirms Intention to Step Down in ’15 if Successful

March 22, 2011

Sepp Blatter, President of world soccer’s governing body FIFA, says he will step down from his post in 2015, if he is re-elected for a fourth term in June.

The 75-year-old has been head of world football’s governing body since 1998 but is being challenged by Asian confederation chief Mohamed Bin Hammam.

Blatter told a UEFA Congress today, March 22: “You know I aspire to another four years. [But] these will be the last years for which I stand as candidate.”

The new president will be elected at a FIFA Congress which starts on 31 May, with Qatari Bin Hammam vowing to increase FIFA’s decision-making power and spread its considerable wealth.

The presidential challenge is the first that Blatter has faced since Issa Hayatou took him on – and lost – in 2002.

Bin Hammam is also currently attending the Congress for European football’s governing body, UEFA, as the candidates lobby federation presidents for their vote on 1 June in Zurich, with UEFA’s 53 member countries representing more than a quarter of the 208 FIFA voters.

BBC’s Sports Editor, David Bond claimed: “This is a significant announcement.

“It’s the first time Blatter has said this in this campaign for [the next] presidential candidancy.

“Clearly it’s a message to UEFA president Michel Platini, who would like to take over from Blatter in 2015. Platini is crucial to both candidates.

“This might just help swing Platini’s support behind Blatter.”

Bin Hammam is likely to want eight years in office but has said he would be interested in cutting a deal with Platini to oust Blatter.

The winner needs a two-thirds majority of valid votes cast in the first ballot, or a majority in the second.

Blatter spoke of the upcoming elections: “We are in extra-time. Let’s wait and see what the outcome will be.”