ZURICH: Sepp Blatter has reiterated an insistance that he intends to “hand over FIFA in a good condition” after a presidential successor is elected writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Blatter’s decision to break a 2011 promise to quit at congress last month created ongoing suspicion over whether he does intend to step aside, as he stated early this month.
In a weekend interview with a home-region Swiss newspaper, Walliser Bote, the 79-year-old Swiss stated again that he was “not a candidate for FIFA presidency.”
He said: “I am not a candidate, I am the elected president and I want to hand over FIFA in good condition. FIFA and football have been the most important part of my life for 40 years so I will employ all my strength and inspiration up to my last working day to steer the ship back into the safe harbour.”
Blatter repeated his stated desire to push through various reforms such as term limits and a reordering of the organisation of the executive committee.
He said: “The key to [reform] is strengthening democracy in the ‘FIFA government’. There should not be a redistribution of the places on the executive committee, but an appropriate expansion of the body.”
Blatter said that his decision to leave had been, in his view, “the only way to ease the pressure from FIFA and my staff including from the sponsors, was to remove FIFA and me personally from the line of fire.”
He thought early next year would be a realistic date for the extraordinary election congress. This would allow for a four-month election campaign as lad down by FIFA statutes and avoid a clash with the Club World Cup in Japan between December 10-20.
As for his own personal future beyond FIFA, which he joined in 1975, Blatter said: “I have not yet had many thoughts about this but it is not a worry. Certainly I can say the decision to leave go is liberating for both FIFA and for myself.”