Football

Sports world reacts to Sepp Blatter,'president of everybody'

​Even amid allegations of rampant corruption, Sepp Blatter was re-elected president of FIFA for a fifth term on Friday (May 29) after his only challenger conceded defeat.

Blatter's reelection campaign has been overshadowed by the arrest in Zurich, Switzerland of seven FIFA officials, including two vice-presidents.

They have been accused by US authorities of taking tens of millions of dollars in bribes.

Swiss police are also investigating the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments to Russia and Qatar, which have also been viewed with suspicion. 

Blatter did not garner the required two-thirds of the majority in the first round of voting.

Blatter's 133 votes in the first round was seven votes short. His challenger, Jordanian Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, won 73 votes.

However, Prince Ali swiftly conceded.

In his victory speech, the 79-year-old Blatter said: “I congratulate you if you voted for Prince Ali, he was a good candidate."

He went on to add: "but I am the president now, the president of everybody.” 

Many in the world of sport are not happy with Blatter's victory.

Former Portugal star and one-time contender for Fifa presidency Luis Figo was scathing.

"Today, FIFA has lost, but above everything, football has lost and everyone who truly cares about it has lost too."

In a longer Facebook post, he wrote:

"Mr Blatter had a very cynical reaction when he said that he couldn’t control everyone. It offends everyone’s intelligence. These persons, whom Mr. Blatter has promoted through years, turned, with him, FIFA in to a decadent organisation."

He also called for Blatter to resign in the next few days. if he had "minimal decency".

 

 

This vote has only served to endorse the election of a man who can’t remain in charge of world football. Instead of what...

Posted by Luís Figo on Friday, 29 May 2015

 

UEFA president Michel Platini, who has been vocal in his criticism of Blatter and the way he runs FIFA, said: 

 "I am proud that UEFA has defended and supported a movement for change at FIFA.

Change which in my opinion is crucial if this organisation is to regain its credibility.

I congratulate my friend Prince Ali for his admirable campaign and I take the opportunity to thank all the national associations who supported him."

 

Former England striker Gary Lineker pulled no punches in expressing his disappointment:

 

 

Another former English footballer called for a boycott:

Sponsors have also voiced their concerns.

Commercial fallout grew with South Korea’s Hyundai Motor, a major sponsor of FIFA, saying it was “extremely concerned” at the new scandals.

Credit card giant Visa has threatened to “reassess” its sponsorship if FIFA does not clean up its act. Coca-Cola, Adidas, McDonald’s and Budweiser have also spoken out. 

Coca-Cola said: "FIFA must now seize the opportunity to begin winning back the trust it has lost. We urge FIFA to take concrete actions to fully address all of the issues that have been raised, in a swift and transparent manner."

Some journalists made digs at the reappointment.

Oliver Kay of The Times tweeted this picture...

While BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Dan Walker made this comment

Sources: AFP, Reuters

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