FIFA Chief Is Re-Elected after a Week of Scandal ; Blatter Gets a Fifth Term despite Indictments at the Top of Soccer Body

By Borden, Sam | International New York Times, May 30, 2015 | Go to article overview

FIFA Chief Is Re-Elected after a Week of Scandal ; Blatter Gets a Fifth Term despite Indictments at the Top of Soccer Body


Borden, Sam, International New York Times


Sepp Blatter was re-elected as FIFA's president on Friday, emerging from a week of scandal and renewed public criticism with a fifth term as the head of soccer's world governing body.

Sepp Blatter was re-elected as FIFA's president on Friday, emerging from a week of scandal and renewed public criticism with a fifth term as the head of soccer's world governing body.

On the first ballot of FIFA's member federations here, Mr. Blatter got 133 votes, just short of the two-thirds majority required. His challenger, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, got 73 votes.

A second ballot would have required only a simple majority, making Prince Ali an extreme underdog, and he withdrew from the race.

The announcement of the results came after a prolonged voting period in which a member of each delegation was called to the front of the arena in alphabetical order by delegation to cast a ballot in one of two boxy white voting booths.

After the voting concluded, the paper ballots were dumped on a table and counted by hand. The entire process took about two hours.

Mr. Blatter, one of the most powerful people in sports, has run FIFA as an autocracy since winning the presidency in 1998.

He was expected to defeat Prince Ali despite the allegations of criminal behavior that have engulfed his organization this past week.

The vote took place only miles from the luxury hotel where several top FIFA officials were arrested Wednesday on corruption charges brought by the United States.

For years, FIFA's membership has largely operated in lock step under Mr. Blatter as he weathered numerous controversies -- corruption, bribery, match-fixing and others -- and rarely showed any sign of vulnerability. …

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