Friday, 29 May 2015 23:29

Fifa corruption scandal: Blatter re-elected president

Desk Sepp Blatter has been re-elected president of Fifa, football's world governing body, in a vote overshadowed by arrests and corruption allegations. Mr Blatter's rival, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, withdrew after the first round of voting. Mr Blatter fell seven short of the two-thirds needed, but Prince Ali opted not to contest further. Seven top officials were arrested in Switzerland on Wednesday as part of a US prosecution that indicted 14 people. Sportsday - live updates Mr Blatter, 79, has faced calls to resign, including from UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who said in Berlin on Thursday that Mr Blatter should quit "the sooner the better". 'Current storm' The vote took place at Fifa's congress in Zurich. A candidate needed 140 votes to win in the first round. The two candidates had earlier delivered final appeals to the electors. line Analysis: Matthew Kenyon, BBC Sport If you read most of the world's media, Sepp Blatter's ability to hang on to power at Fifa is nothing short of miraculous. After years of negative headlines, the frenzy has reached fever pitch in the wake of the US allegations of corruption - even though Mr Blatter himself has not been implicated. And running through all this is a theme - bemusement that much of the football world keeps voting for him. Nowhere is Sepp Blatter's support stronger than across Asia and Africa. So why do most of the representatives from those two continents appear to be voting for him again? Here's about as succinct an answer as you're going to get - from the president of the Nigerian Football Federation: "Blatter feels Africa. What Blatter pushes is equity, fairness and equality among the nations." We're talking about two things - the first is concrete investment, often literally so. The second is respect. Why Africa backs Blatter South Africans shocked by scandal Who still supports Sepp Blatter? line Prince Ali, 39, said that questions had been raised in recent days "about whether our Fifa family is morally bankrupt". He said: "There are no easy answers and no blame that can be cast that will wash away the stain that marks us all. "Today is about the first step towards a process of change - a new dawn to break through the darkness," Prince Ali added. Mr Blatter said: "I am being held accountable for the current storm - so be it, I will shoulder the responsibility. I will take it upon myself and I want to fix Fifa together with you. "At the end of my term I will be able to hand over a strong Fifa - one that is integrated and will have enough safeguards to not need political interventions." To applause from a large number of delegates, he said: "I would like to stay with you. I would like to continue with you." The vote comes two days after seven top officials were held in Zurich in a US fraud inquiry that indicted 14 people. A combination of file pictures shows Fifa officials (L to R, from upper row) Rafael Esquivel, Nicolas Leoz, Jeffrey Webb, Jack Warner, Eduardo Li, Eugenio Figueredo and Jose Maria Marin, 27 May 2015 The current and former Fifa executives indicted include Rafael Esquivel, Nicolas Leoz, Jeffrey Webb, Jack Warner, Eduardo Li, Eugenio Figueredo and Jose Maria Marin They are accused of bribery, racketeering and money-laundering involving tens of millions of dollars since 1991. The aim of the bribes was to influence the outcome of bids to stage football tournaments such as the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the 2016 Copa America in the US, prosecutors say. Swiss prosecutors have launched a separate investigation into the bidding process for the World Cup tournaments in 2018 in Russia and 2022 in Qatar. Many of Fifa's major sponsors, including Coca-Cola, Visa, Adidas, McDonald's, Hyundai Motor and Budweiser, have expressed concern over the investigations.bbc.
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