Wednesday 20 February 2019

Blatter expected to win fourth term

Sepp Blatter is expected to win a fourth term as head of Fifa as he stands unopposed in the presidential election - despite calls from the English and Scottish FA to postpone the vote.

Prince William, the FA president, has backed the stance that a fair election cannot take place following allegations of corruption within football's world governing body.

It comes as more key sponsors raised concerns about the controversial election and corruption whistleblower Chuck Blazer, the secretary-general of Concacaf, survived an attempt to sack him.

The FA and Scottish FA have accused the world governing body of a "lack of transparency and accountability". Its chairman, David Bernstein, wants Fifa to appoint an independent body to supervise reforms after scandals over the last month have caused a crisis in the embattled organisation.

A Clarence House spokesman said: "The Duke of Cambridge, as president, has been kept informed of the FA's proposals and is fully supportive of the chairman and the initiatives the FA has recommended. He considers the transparency of the international governing body to be integral to the good governance of the game."

Asian football chief Mohamed Bin Hammam pulled out of the race against Mr Blatter at the weekend, hours before he was provisionally banned from all football-related activities on bribery charges. Executive committee member Jack Warner has also been suspended from all football-related activity after the Fifa ethics committee said it would launch a "full inquiry" into the bribery allegations.

The developments followed controversy surrounding the legitimacy of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process.

In a dramatic solo news conference on Monday, Mr Blatter admitted Fifa faces "difficulties" but insisted: "Crisis? What is a crisis? Football is not in a crisis."

Former FA chief executive Mark Palios told BBC Breakfast that Mr Blatter was "so strongly embedded in the organisation, it's very difficult to shift him".

And he said the sponsors could "say what they want" but their views would have little effect.

© Press Association

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