Sepp Blatter insists that he can restore Fifa’s tarnished reputation after being re-elected president on Friday, claiming that while he is “not perfect”, he can solve all of the organisation’s problems.
The Swiss secured a fifth four-year term at the head of the game’s governing body, after his sole rival for the role, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, conceded defeat after racking up just 73 votes to Blatter’s tally of 133 from the first round of voting.
Blatter praised his Jordanian challenge before vowing to rebuild Fifa’s shattered image following the arrest of nine officials on suspicion of accepting bribes over a 24-year period dating back to 1991, as well as confirmation of the opening of a Swiss-led criminal investigation into alleged corruption relating to the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively.
“I would like to give compliments and express my gratitude to his royal highness Prince Ali because Prince Ali was a competitor, a challenger and he has obtained a very good result,” the 79-year-old said during his victory speech.
“In this situation it would be easy to say, ‘No, let’s go further, perhaps I will receive more votes [in a second round].
“On the other hand, I thank you [Fifa’s members] for accepting me for the next four years.
“I will be in command of this boat called Fifa and we will bring it back offshore and we will drag it to the beach, we will bring it back to where football can be played.
“But we have to work on that.
“You remember four years ago [at his last re-election] I had lots of problems to solve. I challenged you at that time, I am not going to challenge you now but we also have to sort some organisational problems in Fifa because we must have a better configuration in the confederations.
“We need ladies in this committee, we have to do more, we have to do more in our competitions also but I will not touch the World Cup because the World Cup is too important.
“But I take the responsibility to bring back Fifa, we must do it, and I am convinced we can do it.
“I promise you I will give Fifa to my successor in a very strong position, a strong Fifa and a robust Fifa.
“My age is not a problem. I told you at the beginning, when we started this election, I like my job.
“I am not perfect, no-one is perfect but we will do a good job together so I thank you for the confidence placed in me. Let’s go Fifa, let’s go Fifa.”