Luis Figo, the former Portugal star who was running for FIFA's presidency until he withdrew his candidacy last week, criticized the reelection of Sepp Blatter on Friday.
Blatter was elected for his fifth term as FIFA’s president, defeating Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan. The vote saw Blatter receive 133 votes to Prince Ali’s 73, which was short of the two-thirds majority needed to win election on the first ballot. But Prince Ali conceded before a simple-majority second ballot was set to begin.
FIFA’s election received even greater international attention following the corruption scandal that has rocked soccer’s governing body this week. On Wednesday, 14 officials were indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on charges of racketeering, fraud and money laundering. Blatter was not among the 14 individuals arrested and charged.
Figo’s withdrawal last week left Prince Ali as the only opposition to Blatter, who has held FIFA's presidency since 1998. After the vote, Figo expressed his criticism of Blatter’s reelection on Facebook.
Figo, 42, won the Ballon d’Or as the world's top soccer player in 2000. He also played for Real Madrid and Barcelona, and made two World cup appearances for Portugal. In recent years, Figo has worked for Inter Milan and Portugal.
- Mike Fiammetta