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Sunday 4 December 2016

Delaney and Dyke both believe Sepp won't last his term

John Delaney, chief executive of the Football Association of Ireland, believes that despite Sepp Blatter's victory in the FIFA presidential election in Zurich yesterday the pressure of the current unprecedented crisis will mean he does not see out his four-year term.

Blatter saw off the challenge from Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan after a week which saw seven FIFA officials arrested and 18 people connected to football indicted on corruption charges by the US justice department.

He said: "I still think this is the beginning of the end of Sepp Blatter. I don't see him seeing his four years out - the momentum is too great.

"We have to see how best we can use the European muscle. We also need to go on a charm offensive with Africa and Asia.

He said: "It's not over. Blatter obviously won the vote today but there are a number of things that can happen. The FBI investigation and the Swiss investigation will continue and Blatter himself admitted yesterday that there would be more to come. There will be a meeting of the UEFA family at the Champions League final to determine a strategy going forward."

On the possibility of UEFA countries threatening to boycott major tournaments, he added: "There has been loose talk of that but it wouldn't be my way of doing things.

"There will be a lot of talk and discussions and a lot of people will be looking to UEFA as to what UEFA's stance will be going forward.

"I don't think the story is over at all. There is more to come."

English Football Association chairman Greg Dyke agreed with his Irish counterpart about Blatter's chances of serving his latest four-year term, saying he would be "very surprised" if Blatter was still FIFA president in two years.

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Speaking after the vote in Zurich, he said: "This is not over by any means. To quote the Attorney General this is the beginning of the process, not the end. The idea Blatter could reform FIFA is suspect. I'd be very surprised if he was still in this job in two years time."

UEFA president Michel Platini reiterated his desire for change within FIFA, while congratulating 39-year-old Prince Ali for his "admirable campaign".

The Frenchman said: "I am proud that UEFA has defended and supported a movement for change at FIFA, change which in my opinion is crucial if this organisation is to regain its credibility."

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