Blatter insists in a letter sent to 208 national associations and published Wednesday that he can provide “stability, continuity and reliability” in a world of political and economic turmoil.
It’s Blatter’s first campaign statement since being challenged last month by former ally Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar, who has pledged to share even more of FIFA’s wealth with voters. Bin Hammam is not mentioned in the four-page letter.
The 75-year-old Swiss, who has led soccer’s world governing body since 1998, seeks a fourth four-year term that he says will be his last.
“I have all the motivation, experience, ideas and energy necessary to complete my mission,” Blatter wrote.
With FIFA often accused of corruption on his watch, Blatter also promised a strong monitoring role for its ethics committee. The panel suspended two members of FIFA’s 24-man executive committee from the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting votes last December
“I will ensure discipline, respect and fair play on and off the field,” Blatter said.
Bin Hammam has pledged wider distribution of World Cup profits, which helped create FIFA’s $1.28 billion reserve fund. He said he would double annual grants, giving all 208 members a basic $500,000, and double maximum payments toward Goal program projects to $1 million.
He also promised to share FIFA’s power and jobs with its six confederations, by offering 17 extra seats on the executive body and creating legal and development teams at continental headquarters.
However, public opinion will be less important than support from influential confederation bosses such as Europe’s Michel Platini and Jack Warner from the CONCACAF region of North, Central America and the Caribbean.
“I will make a statement at the beginning of May about the position of UEFA,” Platini said Wednesday in London.
Platini is scheduled to represent his 53-member group at the South American soccer congress in May 1 in Asuncion, Paraguay, and the CONCACAF gathering May 3 in Miami.
Blatter’s letter opened with descriptions of a world affected by “natural and nuclear catastrophes,” financial turmoil and “political instability and revolution in many regions.”
“We do not need revolution within FIFA, but the continuous evolution and improvement of our game and our organization,” he added.
Blatter reminded voters that FIFA has organized 49 tournaments, including three World Cups, under his leadership and vastly increased revenues and spending, thanks to “the professionalism of FIFA’s administration.”
FIFA election rules require the winning candidate to get a two-thirds majority of votes cast in the first ballot, or a majority in the second. Suspended members, which currently includes Bosnia-Herzegovina and Brunei, can’t attend the congress in Zurich or vote.
Blatter closed by urging voters “let’s go for it _ together.”
AP Sports Writer Rob Harris in London contributed to this report.
By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Al Maurer provides a common sense, conservatarian, Constitutional conservative perspective from the battleground state of Colorado
A twenty-something’s musings on religion and today.
In a world that is increasingly complex, we need to seek greater awareness of the blending of cultures and America's changing role in a global community.
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention
California wildfires wreak havoc