KUALA LUMPUR: Sepp Blatter is no longer a member of the International Olympic Committee after withdrawing from consideration for re-election at the IOC Session [congress] in Malaysia writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Blatter, who indicated in June his intention of resigning as president of world football federation FIFA, would have had to quit the Olympic movement in any case on reaching the age of 80 next spring.
Some 14 IOC members came up for re-election in Kuala Lumpur on reaching the end of their eight-year mandates along but Blatter had already sent a formal note of his departure to Thomas Bach, the IOC president.
Bach said: “Mr Blatter sent a letter just before the IOC Session saying that his mandate as FIFA president would come to an end on February 26 because FIFA would elect a new president and that for this reason – and for the reason that he could not come here – he would not think it appropriate being proposed for a new mandate of eight years.
“This was in line with the [situation of] other two potential candidates for re-election where the nomination commission also thought it not appropriate to be re-elected for another five months so it was not a situation affecting my Blatter alone.”
Had Blatter been staying on at FIFA – and thus remaining on the IOC beyond his 80th birthday – it is likely that an honorary membership of the IOC would have been conferred. This now appears out of the question.
Blatter became an IOC member in 1999 after being elected as president of FIFA the previous year. He was enabled to stay on after turning 70 under IOC rules which permit certain presidents of senior international federations to remain in membership until they reach 80.
Three members of FIFA’s executive committee remain as members of the IOC: African confederation president Issa Hayatou (Cameroon), women’s representative Lydia Nsekera (Burundi) and Asian delegate Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah (Kuwait).
James Easton (United States) and Colombia’s Andrés Botero Phillipsbourne also stepped down from the IOC but were installed as honorary members.
New IOC members elected were Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye, president Senegal’s national Olympic committee, and Serbia’s Nenad Lalovic who, as president of the World Wrestling, led the sport back from the brink of Olympic Games exclusion.
Sweden’s Gunilla Lindberg was re-elected to ‘her own’ place on the executive committee.