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Blatter gets third term as FIFA president

Sepp Blatter was given a third term as president of world soccer's governing body by acclamation after standing as the only candidate at FIFA's congress.

sports Updated: May 31, 2007 19:36 IST
Mike Collett

Sepp Blatter was given a third term as president of world soccer's governing body by acclamation after standing as the only candidate at Thursday's FIFA Congress.

"I accept this mandate and I thank you for your continuing trust in me," he told delegates from FIFA's 208 member associations who gave him a four-year term until 2011.

Earlier the 71-year-old Swiss had told delegates world soccer was facing four evils that had to be stopped doping, corruption, cheating and racism.

He also said that the growing trend of football-related matters being taken to civil courts had to end with Congress passing a resolution to its statutes designed to stop disputes being settled in ordinary courts of law.

"We are strong enough ourselves to settle our own affairs," he said.

He also confirmed that there was no doubt that South Africa would host the 2010 World Cup finals and repeated his widely-held belief that video technology would not be used to settle disputes in matches.

"The World Cup is staying in Africa, there is absolutely no problem about this. It is staying in South Africa. Plan A is South Africa, Plan B is South Africa, Plan C is South Africa and Plan D is South Africa" he said to loud applause from delegates.

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

He said however that football was at a crossroads and had to develop a greater social and cultural responsibility to deal with people who want to hi-jack the game and "the evils of doping, corruption, cheating and racism."

Blatter praised the Mexican FA for banning a player for life for two positive dope tests and for removing his club from its competitions.

He also congratulated the four British associations for swiftly replacing a vice-president who made disparaging remarks about African and Caribbean nations.

"Even today we have racism in football and in this context I would like to congratulate the courageous decision taken by the four British associations not to highlight a member who has recently attacked Caribbean and African nations in declarations which are totally negative and don't correspond to our concept of football," he said.

He admitted that the ongoing court case in New York regarding the Visa-MasterCard dispute over FIFA sponsorship rights was a mistake, "and it will cost us a pretty penny", but said that whatever it cost FIFA, the money would not come from funds allocated to the member nations.

FIFA's Task Force "For the Good of the Game" made its final reports to Congress with, among other things, planned changes to the rules applying to agents being introduced from next January.

Montenegro, which became a full member of UEFA in January, was admitted as FIFA's 208th member.