Michael Probst/AP/Press Association Images Sepp Blatter reacts following the news of his re-election for a fourth term as FIFA President.
# Political Football
King Sepp prevails: Blatter re-elected for fourth term as FIFA President
“Our pyramid is intact because the foundation is solid,” says Blatter following his re-election at FIFA Headquarters.

IN THE END, there could only be one winner. FIFA, the governing body charged with safeguarding the game of football around the world, had made sure of it.

After a turbulent week of corruption allegations and mud-slinging, an overwhelming majority of the Association’s member nations opted to return incumbent president Sepp Blatter for a fourth term of office following a secret ballot at the body’s Zurich headquarters this afternoon.

With five of FIFA’s 208 members opting not to cast a vote, Blatter received 186 of the 203 votes on offer, ensuring that he will remain at the helm of the global footballing authority until 2015.

Less than a week ago, the 75-year-old President had been forced to defend himself against claims that he had turned a blind eye to the cash bribes allegedly offered by his one-time electoral opponent, Qatari Mohamed Bin Hammam, in return for votes.

On Sunday evening, Bin Hammam was one of four senior FIFA members suspended pending investigation by an ethics committee. His suspension and subsequent withdrawal allowed Blatter, who has been at the FIFA helm since succeeding Joao Havelange in 1998, to stand before the electorate unopposed.

Earlier this morning, FIFA’s delegates voted overwhelmingly to reject a motion proposed by David Bernstein, Chairman of the English FA, which called on the election to be postponed due to the fact that it lacked credibility.

Speaking shortly after his election, Blatter thanked the Association’s members for returning him for a fourth term, claiming that their endorsement will restore unity and stability to FIFA following a week in which the whole edifice came perilously close to crumbling.

“Thank you for your trust. I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” said Blatter, according to The Guardian’s report. ”Together we will have four years, provided the Lord gives me life, the energy and the strength to continue on our path and do to our job.”

I’m happy that we were able to bring today into FIFA this solidarity, this unity, that enables us, with sufficient courage and a positive standpoint, to move forward. We are going to put FIFA’s ship back on the right course, in clear, transparent waters.

“We will need some time, we cannot do it from one day to the next, but our pyramid is intact because the foundation is solid, just as solid as our game.

“I would simply like to tell you that I am touched and honoured and I thank you. But at the same time this is a challenge for me, and I accept it.

“Let’s go together. Something marvellous has happened today.”

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