Michael Probst/AP/Press Association Images An assistant holds a ballot for the election of the FIFA President at the 61st FIFA Congress in Zurich today.
Political Football
Green light for Blatter's coronation as delegates reject FA motion
English motion to postpone today’s unopposed election defeated by 172 votes to 17 this morning.

SEPP BLATTER LOOKS set to be returned for a fourth term as FIFA President later today after the English FA’s proposal that the unopposed election be postponed was overwhelmingly rejected by delegates at the Association’s Headquarters in Zurich.

David Bernstein, chairman of the English FA, addressed the assembled delegates this morning as he attempted to delay a process which many feel is lacking in credibility following the recent spate of corruption allegation and counter-allegation.

The motion, which would have required the support of three-quarters of voters in order to change the agenda, was defeated by 172 votes to 17. A further 17 votes were either spoiled or abstentions.

The decision paves the way for this afternoon’s election, in which Blatter will be the only candidate, to go ahead as scheduled.

“It gives me no pleasure to make this speech. A lot of people have warned me I shouldn’t be making this speech but Fifa is a democratic organisation,” began Bernstein as he addressed FIFA’s 208 member nations this morning.

“We are faced with an unsatisfactory situation. We are subject to universal criticism from governments, sponsors, media and the wider world.

“With this background the election has turned into one-horse race. In the view of the Football Association this should be avoided both for the sake of Fifa and the president itself.”

A coronation without an opponent provides a flawed mandate.

Bernstein’s address was followed by speeches from Selemani Omari of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Moucharafou Anjorin of Benin and Cyprus’s Costakis Koutsoukoumis among others, all of whom criticised the English decision to oppose Blatter’s re-election.

“Allegations – what a beautiful English word,” said Koutsoukoumis. “We must not allow people outside this room to enter Fifa’s agenda.”

Read: FIFA scandal ruffles the feathers of big brand sponsors >

Read: FAI considering FIFA election stance >

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