Sepp Blatter, FIFA‘s president since 1998, has suggested that he could stand for re-election when his mandate expires in 2015. Blatter has already been re-elected in 2002, 2007 and 2011. By the time he finishes his current mandate, the Swiss will have been in office for 17 years.
Such a dictatorship should not be allowed by FIFA. No president should be allowed in office for more than three terms to ensure that FIFA remains a democracy.
Elected on June 8, 1998 and succeeding the Brazilian Joao Havelange, Blatter has been FIFA’s president ever since. The 77-year-old had said in 2011 that this mandate would be his last, but he has recanted since then. Should Blatter run and be re-elected, he would be in office until 2019 , making him at 83-years old, the oldest FIFA president ever.
Despite being re-elected with a comfortable majority every time , Blatter has often been dogged by controversy and allegations of corruption. In 2002, Farra Ado, vice-president of Confederation of African football and president of the Somali Football Federation, claimed to have been offered $100.000 to vote for Blatter.
In 2011, the Swiss was again accused of bribery but was cleared of any wrongdoing by FIFA’s ethics panel. Mohammed Bin Hammam, former Asian Football Confederation president and Blatter’s only opponent for the election, dropped out of the race and was suspended indefinitely by FIFA for corruption shortly before the elections which facilitated Blatter’s re-election.
The most recent accusations of corruption aimed at FIFA and its boss came after Qatar was awarded the World Cup 2022. A recently revealed e-mail shows FIFA’s general secretary, Frenchman Jerome Valcke, saying that Qatar ”bought” the World Cup. Valcke later said that he meant Qatar was helped by its well-financed campaign.
Amazingly, he has never been asked by FIFA’s ethics panel to justify the use of the word ”bought”. The same Valcke gave the current FIFA president his approval when asked if Blatter should run again in 2015.
Since Blatter has been elected president in 1998, many close collaborators of the Swiss have been proven guilty of corruption, but Blatter has always been cleared of any wrongdoing. However, FIFA’s reputation has been damaged by repetitive corruption scandals under his presidency and it’s high time for a change. After 17 years of his reign, it will be time for Blatter to step down in 2015 and let a new era begin for FIFA.
Malamine Sane is a soccer writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @Malamino