KEIR RADNEDGE in SAO PAULO: FIFA president Sepp Blatter galloped into a further round of self-promotion by telling CONCACAF delegates that he is ready to carry on for a fifth term.
Blatter, 78, had indicated in 2011 that this current four-year term would be his last but he has steadily turned the tanker of departure around and will tell FIFA Congress here tomorrow that he wants to stand for re-election next year.
This will not be a surprise since Blatter has been telegraphing his congress address at every possible opportunity.
Yesterday he dropped his heavy hunt to the extraodinary congress of Africa and Asia and today it was the turn of central/north America to hear the message.
Blatter’s audience included not only delegates but confederation presidents Jeff Webb (CONCACAF) and Sheikh Salman Ebrahim al Khalifa (Asia), FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke and Brazilian confederation leader Jose Maria Marin.
He said: “My mandate as president of FIFA started in 1998 specifically with the support of your confederation and now my mandate comes to an end but my mission – our mission together – is not yet finished.
“I’ll be honest, it burns stronger than ever to go forward.
“Only the FIFA Congress can decide who will take this great institution forward but, with the foundation we have had to develop the game and especially in this region, I am at your disposal.”
Blatter was given a standing ovation which may also have owed something to his earlier declaration that the six regional confederations would receive two bonus payments out of the World Cup surplus.