KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: FIFA president Sepp Blatter has invited the world’s national associations to virtually re-crown him a year in advance of the 2015 election congress.
He 78-year-old Swiss has made no secret over the past months that he intends to tell Congress in Sao Paulo on June 10 and 11 that he is ready to continue for a further four-year term when his currend mandate expires in May next year.
In an interview on FIFA.com, Blatter was asked about his presidential intentions.
He said: “I’m not a candidate for the time being because the candidature is not yet open. My mandate will come to an end in one year but my mission is still going on. A mission is never finished and I am available to go with this mission.
“I will announce it to the Congress that I am available but it’s to the congress to say Yes or No. I’m not going there to say: ‘I’m yours!’ No.
“But, in this context, we must have the unity of FIFA and if the unity is going well with the same person [i.e. himself] then they may express it during this Congress.”
Only French former FIFA official Jerome Champagne has announced a candidacy. UEFA president Michel Platini, once seen as Blatter’s likely successor, is now considered unlikely to run.
Blatter joined FIFA as development director in 1975 and was later general secretary and chief executive to long-serving Joao Havelange. The long-serving Brazilian retired in 1998 when Blatter won the presidency against Sweden’s then UEFA leader Lennart Johansson.
In the rest of the interview Blatter referred to the need for Congress to attend to outstanding issues from the reform process including limits of age and appointment duration.
He arrives in Brazil on Sunday and travels on Monday to Brasilia to meet state President Dilma Rousseff. Blatter said: “We are in the same boat . . . which is to deliver the best-ever World Cup.”