Sepp Blatter reelected for fifth term as FIFA president
FIFA president Sepp Blatter was re-elected to a fifth term on Friday.
Blatter beat out Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan to maintain the position he has held since 1998. Blatter did not reach a two-thirds majority on the first ballot, winning 133 votes to Prince Ali's 73, but Prince Ali conceded before the simple-majority second ballot began.
Blatter won re-election despite a corruption scandal rocking FIFA. On Wednesday, 14 officials were indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice, accused of decades-long, widespread corruption.
Blatter was not among the 14 individuals arrested and charged by the United States Department of Justice with racketeering, fraud and money laundering.
On Thursday, U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said that he would instruct his delegation to vote for Prince Ali.
After calling an emergency meeting on Thursday with the leaders of soccer's six confederations in wake of the arrests, Blatter was asked by UEFA president Michel Platini to resign from his post and declined. He also reportedly refused calls from UEFA to postpone the FIFA election for six months.
“I know many people hold me ultimately responsible,” Blatter said of the corruption allegations in a speech on Thursday at FIFA's annual congress. “I cannot monitor everyone all of the time.”
He added that corruption in FIFA “has to stop here and now.”
Among those indicted were current CONCACAF president and FIFA vice president Jeffrey Webb, former CONCACAF president Jack Warner, and former President of the Uruguayan Football Association and former Vice President of CONMEBOL, Eugenio Figueredo.
Swiss federal prosecutors have opened separate criminal proceedings relating to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which were won by Russia and Qatar, respectively. Russian sports minister Vitalty Mutko said Wednesday his country has "nothing to hide" regarding its bid process.
Wednesday's indictment included allegations that members of the South African government and the country's 2010 World Cup bid committee paid $10 million in bribes to get FIFA officials to vote for the country's bid in 2006.
Earlier in the week, English Football Association vice chairman David Gill said he would step down from his seat on the FIFA executive committee if Blatter was reelected.
- Jeremy Woo and Scooby Axson