KEIR RADNEDGE in ZURICH: The English romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley provided the inspiration for a defiant riposte from Sepp Blatter for anyone wondering why he had yet to produce a campaign manifesto.
Blatter, apart from being FIFA president, is one of the candidates for his own succession at FIFA Congress here in Zurich on May 29.
Prince Ali of Jordan, FIFA’s Asian vice-president, Dutch federation head Michael Van Praag and Portugal’s ex-World Player of the Year Luis Figo are his rivals and all have produced lengthy, web-linked campaign statements.
Only Blatter has refrained and his reply to an inquiry on the subject after FIFA’s executive committee meeting today recalled Shelley’s lines in his sonnet to the Egyptian Pharaoh Ozymandias:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Blatter’s version was less poetic, more prosaic:
“My manifesto is the work I have done in the last years in FIFA;
I am 40 years in FIFA and 17 years as president and this is my manifesto.”
Earlier, challenged about his candidacy, Blatter pointed out that he remained FIFA president “until May 29, until the last item on the Congress agenda which is called ‘election of the president.’
“I have been asked by national associations in all the six confederations to be a candidate but I am still FIFA president and I am not campaigning – I am doing my job as FIFA president and will do it until the last date of my mandate which was given to me in 2011.”
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