ZURICH: Joseph ‘Sepp’ Blatter was handpicked for FIFA while a marketing executive for Swiss timing company Longines. The man who ‘spotted’ him was Horst Dassler, scion of the family which turned Adidas from a German footware company into a worldwide brand. Dassler recommended Blatter to the newly-elected president of FIFA, Joao Havelange, to fill the fill the role of development director. The rest is history.
Sepp Blatter factfile:
Born: Visp, Switzerland, March 10, 1936
Education: College de Sion and St Maurice; University of Lausanne: Bachelor of business administration and economics from the Faculty of Law 1962
1963: amateur footballer for FC Salgesch
1964: Appointed general secretary of the Swiss Ice Hockey Federation
1970: Becomes director sports timing and public relations for Longines, involved in organisation of the 1972 and 1976 Olympics Games
1975: Appointed FIFA’s director technical development programmes bringing to life president Joao Havelange’s initial projects for world youth competitions
1981, November: Appointed FIFA general secretary
1990: Appointed FIFA chief executive officer
1994: Awarded Olympic Order
1998 – March 27: Declares intention to run against UEFA leader Lennart Johansson for FIFA president. June 8: Elected FIFA president (and re-elected in 2002, 2007 and 2011)
2015 – May 29: Re-elected as FIFA president. June 2: Announces a decision to “lay down my mandate” after generating a series of reform proposals. August 3: Resigns as a member of the International Olympic Committee. September 24: Subjected to a criminal investigation by the Office of the Attorney-General over allegations of financial misconduct in office. October 8: Suspended for 90 days by the FIFA ethics committee pending an investigation into allegations of breaches of the Code of Ethics. December 17: Protests his innocence before ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert. December 21: Banned from football for eight years and fined SFr50,000.