• Switzerland's news in English
 
Embattled Blatter vows to see out FIFA term
Photo: Marcello Casal Jr./ABr

Embattled Blatter vows to see out FIFA term

Published: 03 Sep 2012 08:13 GMT+02:00

The 76-year-old administrator took over the top role at the Zurich-based organisation in 1998, seamlessly moving up from the position of
secretary-general he had held from 1975 under his predecessor, the Brazilian Joao Havelange.

He comfortably won re-election for a fourth term in June, 2011 despite ongoing investigations into alleged financial irregularities at the heart of
the organisation and mutterings over his style of leadership.

Since then things have gone from bad to worse for Blatter with allegations of vote-rigging marring the allocation of the World Cups for 2018 and 2022 and widespread criticism of his outspoken statements on a variety of controversial subjects.

Most recently Blatter came under heavy fire from his erstwhile football authority allies in Germany after he insisted he was powerless to do anything
to sanction Havelange after the Brazilian was accused of taking bribes during his long stint as FIFA chief.

In an exclusive interview with AFP, Blatter insisted he had no intention of standing aside prematurely and was determined to continue with reforms he said were making the FIFA organisation more transparent and answerable.

"Yes I have already made that clear," he replied when asked if he would see his fourth term through till the end. "Just allow me to finish it off in a
proper manner.

"I want to be able to complete my work which has not been as bad as it is made out to be in some sectors of the media and in certain parts of the world.

"If I do not succeed in putting the FIFA organisation back in good order, I will have failed. But I am certain I will succeed."

Asked if he felt he was being unfairly treated by some federations notably in Europe, Blatter replied: "I wouldn't say unfairly treated - maybe
misunderstood, but what do you want?

"Football incites great passions, football can be crazy. But I must say we now have this Anglo-Germano alliance which is not at all natural if you go by world history. Great Britain and Germany have never been allies."

While having identified the failed English bid to host the 2018 World Cup finals as the reason for the ill-feeling toward him from much of the English
football fraternity, Blatter said that much of the opposition to him from Germany came from the clubs.

He said that the Bundesliga outfits were envious of the money that FIFA was making on the back of countries using their own club players at international level.

"All that is open for discussion. Personally I am willing to talk about this and maybe then they will stop saying 'Blatter you have been in the job
long enough, it's time to go.'"

Turning to the question of his own successor, Blatter said that he still believed French legend Michel Platini was the best bet, despite strongly
disagreeing with him over the question of the Euro 2022 tournament possibly being shared out between several European cities.

"He was my disciple," he said of Platini, with whom he has long held cordial ties.

"But I think that when he makes the move from the (UEFA) confederation to the (FIFA) presidency, he will have to view football from another dimension.

"It is very much easier to lead UEFA, which is a wealthy organisation, which has everything. He is in a comfy armchair there.

"In any case the last time we spoke about this he told me that he would not be the same kind of president than I have been. But each president has his own style.

On other matters Blatters said that:

- He was in favour of a limited introduction of goalline technology, citing the infamous case of Frank Lampard's disallowed goal against Germany in the last 16 of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. But was against the use of video playbacks in other areas of contention during games.

- He was against increasing the number of teams who qualify for the World Cup finals from the current 32 saying that this figure was much easier to
organise into eight groups of four, with the top two going through to the last 16 and so on.

- He was confident that preparations in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup were firmly on track after fears were expressed that they had badly fallen behind.

He said the recent progress made was mainly due to the concerns expressed by FIFA and the fact that a member of the Brazilian government had been co-opted onto the organising committee.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Ex-banker admits lying over French tax fraud
Pierre Condamin-Gerbier. Photo: AFP

Ex-banker admits lying over French tax fraud

A man who acknowledged lying when he served as a key witness in a major French tax fraud investigation was sentenced to a two-year suspended prison term in the Swiss canton of Ticino on Friday. READ  

Swiss spills beans about guarding the pope
Photo: David Geisser

Swiss spills beans about guarding the pope

Although better known today for their colourful uniforms than their centuries-old reputation as fearless warriors, the Swiss Guards remain a powerful symbol of the Vatican. The Local speaks to David Geisser, one of the latest recruits, about a career protecting popes.
 READ  

Massive write-downs soak Axpo in red ink
Photo: Axpo

Massive write-downs soak Axpo in red ink

Swiss utility company Axpo said on Friday that eroding wholesale prices for electricity have forced it to write down 1.5 billion francs on the value of its power plants and energy supply contracts. READ  

Banks vow negative rates won't be passed on
Photo: Yoshiko Kusano/Photopress

Banks vow negative rates won't be passed on

Major banks in Switzerland say they have no intention of charging small savers negative interest rates in the wake of the Swiss National Bank’s decision this week to charge such rates to financial institutions. READ  

Suspected stabber Nabilla freed from prison
Photo: AFP

Suspected stabber Nabilla freed from prison

Swiss model and French reality TV star Nabilla Benattia left a women’s prison in Versailles, France on Thursday on conditional release while facing charges of attempted murder after stabbing her boyfriend. READ  

Swiss school grad 'hero' among café siege victims
Photo: César Ritz Colleges/Facebook

Swiss school grad 'hero' among café siege victims

César Ritz Colleges, a Swiss hotel management school group, issued a tribute on its Facebook page to a former graduate who died while trying to end this week’s café hostage-taking incident in Sydney, Australia that left three people dead and five people injured. READ  

Forecast cuts 2015 Swiss economic growth
What, me worry? Swiss economy seen as continuing to defy trend in eurozone. Photo: Credit Suisse

Forecast cuts 2015 Swiss economic growth

The Swiss federal government's experts' group says Switzerland's economic prospects remain favourable in a "risky environment" although it cut its growth forecast for 2015. READ  

French businessman plans takeover of Orange

French businessman plans takeover of Orange

Apax Funds has announced it is selling Orange Switzerland, the country’s third largest mobile operator, to NJJ Capital, a holding company owned by French businessman Xavier Niel for 2.8 billion francs. READ  

Switzerland cracks top ten list for business
Zurich, Switzerland's biggest centre for business. Photo: Switzerland Tourism

Switzerland cracks top ten list for business

Switzerland ranks among the top ten best countries in the world to do business, according to Forbes magazine’s list for 2014. READ  

Central bank imposes negative interest rates
Photo: Michael Faes

Central bank imposes negative interest rates

With fresh turmoil in foreign exchange markets putting upward pressure on the franc, the Swiss National Bank announced on Thursday the introduction of negative interest rates. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
The Local's top ten snow sport alternatives to skiing in Switzerland
International
Swiss chocolate café at centre of hostage-taking drama Down Under
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Features
Exploring the 'most beautiful village' in French-speaking Switzerland
Business & Money
Italian thieves steal 260 tons of Swiss Lindt & Sprüngli chocolate
National
World's longest train tunnel — under the Swiss Alps — set to open in 2016
National
Switzerland's Christmas market season gets into full swing
National
Porn film on video screen spices up fare at Swiss McDonald's restaurant
National
Masturbation scene in Swiss TV ad for Media Markt draws complaints
National
Cantonal lawmakers end 'happy hours' tippling in Vaud pubs and bars
Politics
Former concert pianist Sommaruga elected as next Swiss president
Culture
Jailed German art forger's paintings go on sale at Bern gallery
Business & Money
Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad's family listed as Switzerland's richest
Features
Long-time expats face dilemma: to be or not to be a Swiss citizen
National
Switzerland's voters massively reject strict immigration limits
Business & Money
Pieces of Napoleon's auctioned hair to be put in Geneva luxury watches
National
Activists petition federal government for ban on eating cats and dogs
National
Swiss meat firm faces scandal over alleged false labelling of products
Sport
Federer victory gives Switzerland its first Davis Cup tennis title
Business & Money
Italy's PM upset over Swiss mogul's acquittal in asbestos deaths
Business & Money
University of Zurich study finds 'banker's oath' could spur honesty
National
Swiss National Bank chief calls proposal to boost gold reserves 'fatal'
National
Mudslides kill four people in Ticino and neighbouring Italy
Culture
British X Factor star seeks internet support for Swiss Eurovision place
National
Court overturns ban by backing right for schoolgirl to wear scarf
National
Swiss ranking for English skills worsens among non-Anglo countries
Culture
Swiss model and French TV star Nabilla held for 'attempted murder'
Travel
Switzerland's Zermatt voted best ski resort in the Alps by skiers
Sport
VIDEO: FC Zurich claims crime after 'vicious' tackle hospitalizes player
Tech
Federal government announces new '.swiss' internet domain name
National
Zany emergency: Basel firefighters rescue ass stuck in manhole
Business & Money
American jury clears former UBS top executive of tax fraud
International
Switzerland ranks second to Norway in global 'prosperity' index
National
Financial regulator bans former Coop Bank CEO for three years
International
Switzerland slips in World Economic Forum's gender equality rankings
National
Job candidates unhappy with hiring process in Switzerland
National
Glacier 3000 opens new foot bridge spanning two mountains in Vaud
National
Swiss seek special Unesco heritage listing for yodelling and watchmaking
International
Switzerland regarded as best place in world for expats: global survey
National
Red faces at Migros over Hitler and Mussolini coffee cream pots
National
Quarter of workers in Switzerland 'stressed out': new survey
Travel
Lonely Planet ranks Zermatt among top places to visit in 2015
Features
Eritrean asylum seekers find refuge in Swiss monastery town
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,041
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply