- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) - The countries which make up the South American football confederation have decided to support Sepp Blatter in FIFA’s presidential elections, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement by the executive committee of CONMEBOL had not been made. The decision was reached after the 10-nation governing body in South America heard proposals from Blatter and other candidates on Tuesday.

Blatter is bidding for a fifth four-year term in an election by FIFA’s 209 member countries in May.

The other candidates are FIFA Vice President Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, Dutch federation head Michael van Praag and Portugal great Luis Figo, who was expected to arrive in Paraguay later Tuesday ahead of CONMEBOL’s general congress on Wednesday.

The decision to support Blatter was not surprising as some CONMEBOL members had hinted after meeting during last year’s World Cup that they expected to back him.

Blatter reportedly has already secured the support of confederation heads of Asia, Africa and Oceania. They don’t have votes themselves but can influence their member associations.

During its congress, CONMEBOL is expected to confirm Paraguayan Juan Angel Napout as its new president. He was appointed by the body’s executive board after the resignation of Uruguayan Eugenio Figueredo last year.

Napout is also expected to become a FIFA vice president in May.

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