PARIS: Sepp Blatter has changed his mind again over the issue of whether to stand next year for re-election as president of world federation FIFA writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Last autumn Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini, a possible successor, appeared to have agreed not to talk about the 2005 vote until after the World Cup finals in Brazil in June and July.
Blatter’s fourth and current term ends at FIFA’s annual congress in Zurich in May 2015. In 2011 he had indicated his current term would be his last but he has retreated from that stance ever since.
In an interview recorded with a televideo offshoot of L’Equipe this week Blatter said he would make his position plain during or before this year’s FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo on the eve of the Opening Match of the World Cup.
Blatter said: “I repeat what I have said before: I do not feel tired enough to decide to retire. With that, everything remains open. I will certainly state my intention before congress this year.”
Of course Blatter could follow the example of Platini last year who promised an announcement to UEFA’s executive in the autumn and then declared only that he would not make a decision until after the World Cup.
Asked about the prosects of Platini as a successor, Blatter said: “He supported me in becoming president of FIFA in 1998 in Paris when we stood alone against everyone. It would be a logical succession.”
Other possible contenders for the FIFA presidency include Spaniard Angel Maria Villar and Frenchman Jerome Champagne.
Villar is a vice-president of both FIFA and UEFA while Champagne spent a decade working within the FIFA administration – though doubts remain over whether he would qualify to stand under new statutes approved by congress last year.