Dyke: Please Don't Vote for a Blatter Clone

Daily Mail (London), February 26, 2016 | Go to article overview

Dyke: Please Don't Vote for a Blatter Clone


Byline: CHARLES SALE reports from Zurich

FA chairman Greg Dyke called for an end to the cult of Blatter on the eve of the FIFA presidential election with Sheik Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa of Bahrain, the 8/15 odds-on favourite in a moderate field to succeed him.

But Dyke has so little faith in the 207-strong FIFA Congress voting today he would have expected old rogue Sepp Blatter to still triumph if he hadn't been banned from football for six years. And he doesn't want the 'cult of someone else' taking his place.

Dyke thinks that someone will be UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino although he has much ground still to make up on Salman. The bookmakers, who rate Infantino 6-4 second favourite, have probably got it right for the first time in this campaign. The other three, Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein (8-1), Tokyo Sexwale (25-1) and Jerome Champagne (66-1), are merely making up the numbers.

Dyke said: 'If Mr Blatter was standing this time, he might well win. A lot of people don't get it from different parts of the world. That's what made FIFA like North Korea where one after the other stood up and said what a wonderful man he was "We want Mr Blatter, he must live forever" and the rest of it.

'That was pretty depressing. But the cult of Blatter is no more and what we've got to make sure is the cult of someone else doesn't replace him. You can't have someone again like Blatter who goes around the world with the largesse.' The bookies' unusual lack of knowledge they had Prince Ali as a strong favourite for most of the campaign sums up the football public's lethargy over the election, most of it FIFA fatigue after the corruption scandal that has brought world football's ruling body to the brink.

Indeed, wholesale FIFA reforms to be voted on before the presidential ballot are more important for the future of football than whoever takes the helm in Zurich. …

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