Report: Sepp Blatter 'weary' after years of leading FIFA

Monday December 22nd, 2014

A source has told BBC Sport that FIFA president Sepp Blatter is "weary" from dealing with multiple scandals, a taxing work schedule, and public outcry after awarding the next two world cups to Russia and Qatar.

The deadline for presidential candidates to formally declare their plans to run in the May 2015 election comes at the end of January. Despite previously stating his intention to run, Blatter was non-committal when asked by BBC Sport for a definitive confirmation.

"We will see on 1 February who are the candidates for the election," Blatter said. "Probably you will see my name there because I've been asked by a lot of national associations to do so. But let me pass Christmas, or let's say the fiestas at the end of the year, and give me then the opportunity to say: 'Yes I will be present.'"

FIFA's tarnished image is hurting soccer, says organization's VP

Some within soccer's governing body have also interpreted comments from Blatter about the "health and good luck" he would need to run for reelection as an indication that FIFA's long-time president may yet decide to withdraw his candidacy.

Some in the organization fear the recent investigation into alleged corruption in the bidding process for World Cup hosting duties could have "far-reaching effects."

Another concern within the organization is, if Blatter decides to withdraw from May's elections, whether would he back the candidacy of one of the five confederation presidents who have public support.

Blatter, 78, stated in September his plans to seek a fifth term in office during in May. According to BBC Sport, Blatter and FIFA officials have had discussions about Blatter's future as the organization's chief.

Other potential candidates include FIFA executive committee member Prince Ali of Jordan, CONCACAF head Jeffrey Webb, and former FIFA official Jerome Champagne.

Besides Blatter, Champagne is the only other individual to publicly declare his intention to run.

UEFA chief Michel Platini won't run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

The report of FIFA ethics committee investigator Michael Garcia could be released in April or May of this year, and several disciplinary cases against FIFA executives are scheduled to conclude in early 2015, as well.

According to BBC, those two events could give Blatter the opportunity to leave office asserting he had implemented a "thorough reform process."

- Christopher Woody

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