Categorized | News

Blatter defiant over Euro ‘insults’ as he awards $750K bonuses and … calls for video refs

By Andrew Warshaw in Sao Paulo

Stepp Blatter_at_2014_Congress

Sepp Blatter

June 12 – Twenty-four hours after being bluntly taken to task by UEFA for changing his mind over staying on as FIFA president and told he was largely responsible for the organisation’s tarnished image, Sepp Blatter, not for the first time, was the one to show his teeth.

On the stage he loves most, in front of his loyal followers at the FIFA Congress, Blatter all but confirmed on Wednesday that he would run for a fifth term of office and took the opportunity in the process to show his disdain for the European members who dared question his right carry on into his 80s.

“I know my mandate will finish next year on May 29 in Zurich but my mission is not finished. Together we will build a new FIFA together,” he told delegates as he wrapped up proceedings. “We have the foundations because we have the budget for the next four years, 2015-2018.

“Congress, you will decide who will take this great institution forward, but I can tell you I am ready to accompany you in the future.”

It may not have been an official bid to launch his candidature but was as close as it came. And in classic Blatter style, the carrot he dangled – $750,000 in bonuses to each federation as a result of the financial success of the World Cup – was music to the ears of most of them

At a news conference later, Blatter rounded on Europe’s 54 members by accusing them of insulting his good name. “This has been the most disrespectful thing I have experienced in my whole life,” he said speaking in German. “On the football pitch and in my home.”

Blatter’s emotional outburst came despite a Congress that went almost entirely to his plan.

Crucially, members finally ditched reform proposals on age and term limits – the former described by Blatter as discriminatory – though this technically gave Blatter’s critics an even bigger stick with which to beat FIFA for being an old boys’ club.

Asked when exactly he would officially announce he is to become a presidential candidate (the deadline is January), Blatter appeared to hide behind new electoral rules that have not yet been given time to take root, insiders describing this as simply a clever tactical ploy to see who else would stand.

“The candidate period is not yet open so no one can be a candidate,” Blatter told reporters, a somewhat confusing remark since former FIFA executive Jerome Champagne has already declared his candidacy.

There is invariably at least one unexpected curved ball at FIFA Congresses and this time it was Blatter proposing that managers should be allowed to appeal, tennis-style, against refereeing decisions up to twice each game, using video footage, a total departure from his long-held promise that goal-line technology would never be extended to further scientific aids and an idea that would have to be approved by the game’s lawmakers, the International FA Board.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By Andrew Warshaw in Sao Paulo

Stepp Blatter_at_2014_Congress

Sepp Blatter

June 12 – Twenty-four hours after being bluntly taken to task by UEFA for changing his mind over staying on as FIFA president and told he was largely responsible for the organisation’s tarnished image, Sepp Blatter, not for the first time, was the one to show his teeth.

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On the stage he loves most, in front of his loyal followers at the FIFA Congress, Blatter all but confirmed on Wednesday that he would run for a fifth term of office and took the opportunity in the process to show his disdain for the European members who dared question his right carry on into his 80s.

“I know my mandate will finish next year on May 29 in Zurich but my mission is not finished. Together we will build a new FIFA together,” he told delegates as he wrapped up proceedings. “We have the foundations because we have the budget for the next four years, 2015-2018.

“Congress, you will decide who will take this great institution forward, but I can tell you I am ready to accompany you in the future.”

It may not have been an official bid to launch his candidature but was as close as it came. And in classic Blatter style, the carrot he dangled – $750,000 in bonuses to each federation as a result of the financial success of the World Cup – was music to the ears of most of them

At a news conference later, Blatter rounded on Europe’s 54 members by accusing them of insulting his good name. “This has been the most disrespectful thing I have experienced in my whole life,” he said speaking in German. “On the football pitch and in my home.”

Blatter’s emotional outburst came despite a Congress that went almost entirely to his plan.

Crucially, members finally ditched reform proposals on age and term limits – the former described by Blatter as discriminatory – though this technically gave Blatter’s critics an even bigger stick with which to beat FIFA for being an old boys’ club.

Asked when exactly he would officially announce he is to become a presidential candidate (the deadline is January), Blatter appeared to hide behind new electoral rules that have not yet been given time to take root, insiders describing this as simply a clever tactical ploy to see who else would stand.

“The candidate period is not yet open so no one can be a candidate,” Blatter told reporters, a somewhat confusing remark since former FIFA executive Jerome Champagne has already declared his candidacy.

There is invariably at least one unexpected curved ball at FIFA Congresses and this time it was Blatter proposing that managers should be allowed to appeal, tennis-style, against refereeing decisions up to twice each game, using video footage, a total departure from his long-held promise that goal-line technology would never be extended to further scientific aids and an idea that would have to be approved by the game’s lawmakers, the International FA Board.