LIVE FROM ZURICH: How FIFA Congress Played Out
May 29, 2015
Christian Radnedge LIVE FROM ZURICH
Our reporter is in Zurich today, iSportconnect will bring you all the latest news from Switzerland, building up to the vote and the final result.
Highlights will be available later today on iSportconnect TV.
Continue the discussion with us on Twitter @isportconnect.
More to follow.
Pro-Palestinian protesters interrupted Sepp Blatter’s address to the FIFA Congress as the controversy surrounding football’s governing body continues. The Congress now continues.
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In his address to congress, Sepp Blatter seem to suggest that had the FIFA executive committee not chosen Russia and Qatar as hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, world football’s governing body would not be experiencing the problems it is today:
“If two other countries had emerged from envelope I think we would not have these problems today”.
The Congress continues.
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In Blatter’s address to FIFA congress:
“Without that partners’ [coca-cola] help we couldn’t have built football throughout the world. Without this partner we would not be here today in order to go to a world cup. Partners want to be with fifa because the world cup is the shoepiwece not only of football but of sports in general.
“There is no sporting event that has more fame and that draws so much attention especially at television where millions and billions watch the fifa world cup including the last one in brazil this beats all other sporting occasions including the famous one the Olympic games.
“FIFA has become a big company and this endeavour needs the understanding and support of the stakeholders in the company. And who are the shareholders and stakeholders? It is you; the national associations. You are the owners of this company. You are the shareholders and owners. And you and your confederations elected a government and the congress elected a president. For this operation to work there needs to be a lot of good will, discipline, and respect.
FIFA vice-president Issa Hayatou says reserves have grown to $1.5 billion, with payments of over $1million going to each member association.
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Growth of FIFA’s reserves over the years
All the latest from Zurich with Christian Radnedge.
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President Sepp Blatter, 79, is seeking reelection for a fifth term in office. He has been in charge of FIFA since 1998.
His one and only challenger is vice-president Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan. At 39 he is the youngest member of the FIFA executive committee.
We spoke to Prince Ali about his vision for FIFA recently at the Soccerex Asian Forum
FIFA approves Dutch-based company KPMG as auditors for the 2015-2018 period. Now, congress breaks for lunch.
Congress was meant to start at 1.30 CET but media only just let back in after rumours of a bomb threat.
Police reportedly searched bags with sniffer dogs in response to threat
FIFA’ general secretary Jerome Valcke to address bomb threat when congress resumed shortly – people filing back into Hallenstadion
Protest group Avaaz gather at congress & claim have 1/2 million signatures calling for Blatter to resign.
Jerome Valcke addressing the Congress regarding the bomb threat at lunchtime
Women’s football is next item on FIFA congress agenda. The next FIFA Women’s World Cup will take place this summer in Canada.
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Lydia Nsekera, FIFA’s first female exco member confirms that the women’s football symposium will take place in Vancouver July 3-5, between semi-finals & final of the Women’s World Cup 2015.
Agenda item #15 is proposal of Palestinian Football Association for the suspension of Israeli counterpart. Reports say a deal has been made.
Meanwhile, the organising committee of the Qatar 2022 World Cup has once again denied any wrongdoing in the wake of news of an investigation by Swiss Police into the awarding of the hosting rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups by FIFA.
In a statement, Qatar 2022 said “our aim through hosting the FIFA World Cup is to utilize the positive power of sport to unify people” and to show the region’s passion for soccer.
“We have fully complied with every investigation that has been initiated concerning the 2018/2022 bidding process and will continue to do so.” The statement continued: “we conducted our bid with integrity.”
Jibril Al Rajoub, president of Palestinian Football Association, drops his proposal to suspend Israel Football Association.
Al Rajoub though added he will not give up the resistance “according to FIFA statutes”. Making impassioned speech to delegates in the room.
Ofer Eini President of Israel FA: “Am delighted that PFA President has withdrawn the proposal. We consent to new proposal & will support it”.
Sheikh Salman, president of the AFC, officially presented as vice-president of FIFA – so too is FA vice-chairman David Gill.
Gill said he would resign should Sepp Blatter be re-elected today as FIFA President.
Congress now moves on to point 17 on the agenda: election of the President
Results to come soon.
The voting booths have been set up either side of the stage – all set up for the 2015 FIFA election.
Prince Ali: “Nothing in life can exist without hope. Even the darkest nights are broken by a new dawn.
“I WILL take full responsibility and hold myself accountable to you and the whole world.”
Sepp Blatter: “I am being held accountable for the current storm. OK. I will take it. I will accept this responsibility.
“We have the obligation not just fighting against corruption… we also need to protect our house from all sorts of interference.
“I have been with you a long time, some may say too long. But what is this notion of time?… I say my time with FIFA is short”.
Now, the 209 member associations of FIFA take it in turns to vote in alphabetical order for their preferred choice of president.
Results to come soon.
The members are still voting. It is Macau’s turn.
Votes are now over. The officials will commence the counting.
A second vote is needed ! None of the candidates got enough votes, although current President Sepp Blatter got 133 votes out of 206 valid ballot papers !
The drama continues in Zurich but just a simple majority is needed now.
Prince Ali addressing the assembly… He withdraws from the race.
Joseph Blatter is re-elected as FIFA President !