ZURICH: The high-flying pressures on a FIFA presidential candidate, who must spend half his life circumnavigating the globe, are being demonstrated by Sepp Blatter.
After hopping around Brazil to view the opening matches in the Confederations Cup Blatter is flying back to Europe to attend the opening of the FIFA World Under-20 Youth Cup in Turkey.
Blatter will attend the official Opening Match between Cuba and South Korea, as well as the game between Nigeria and Portugal, to be played in Kayseri on Friday.
Currently Blatter is halfway through his fourth term as president with uncertainty continuing over whether he will change his mind over retirement and stand again in 2015.
UEFA president Michel Platini and Spain’s Angel Maria Villar have been identified by Blatter himself as possible future contenders for the leadership of the world federation.
The issue then may be whether FIFA’s national associations want a 24/7 president of a ‘chairman of the board’ style of leader.
Justifying his own busy schedule, Blatter said: “The FIFA U-20 World Cup is the second oldest FIFA tournament, one of the most important within FIFA’s competitions, involving 24 teams, and where so many future footballing talents are revealed.
“As FIFA president, I consider it important to be there when the action starts.”
Blatter will return to Brazil for the final week of the Confederations Cup. hoping to find the country in a less turbulent mood than over the past two weeks during which street protests over a host of issues have erupted in half a dozen major cities.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has maintained that Brazil will benefit from more than just new stadia through its staging of the 2014 World Cup, as protests across the country continued to mar the ongoing Confederations Cup.
One of the triggers for the unrest over rising bus and subway fares has been a comparison with the government’s $12.2bn spending on hosting the World Cup and Confederations Cup.
Blatter has insisted that the competitions, eventually, will generate a positive impact on the country’s infrastructrure.
In an interview with O Globo he said: “In football, the whole country gets the legacy. Football involves the whole country. The country improves airports, hotels, highways, telecommunications, and sustainability programmes.
“I can understand that people are unhappy. But football is here to unite people. Football is here to build bridges, to generate excitement, to bring hope.
“Brazil asked to host the World Cup. We didn’t force it on them. It’s obvious that stadiums need to be built but that isn’t the only thing in a World Cup: there are highways, hotels, airports and a lot of other items that remain as a legacy.”