Blatter submits bid for fifth term as FIFA president

Updated 29 January 2015
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Blatter submits bid for fifth term as FIFA president

PARIS: FIFA boss Joseph Blatter on Thursday submitted his candidature for a fifth term as president of world football’s governing body.
“Today (Thursday) is a key date in the electoral calendar. I’ve made my submission, now the electoral committee follow a process,” the 78-year-old Swiss wrote on his Twitter account.
The deadline for nominees to announce their candidacies falls at midnight on Thursday.
Blatter, who has held the post since 1998, had already indicated his intention to seek another term, and has wide support in Asia, Africa and Oceania.
Among his challengers are former Portugal and Real Madrid winger Luis Figo, Dutch football boss Michael Van Praag, Asian Football Confederation vice-president Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, ex-FIFA executive Jerome Champagne and former France winger David Ginola.
“It’s very difficult to beat Blatter, I know, but I think the world of football is with me,” said Ginola, 47, who is being paid £250,000 by betting company Paddy Power to throw his hat into the ring.
Ginola said the challengers were looking for “more democracy and more transparency” in football’s world governing body.
“It can’t be that football is the most popular sport, but the most inaccessible politically speaking,” Ginola told Spanish sports daily Marca.
Candidates must have played an active role in football administration for two of the past five years and be publicly nominated by five of FIFA’s 209 member associations.
Blatter’s reign has been tarnished by accusations of corruption stemming from the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which were awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively.
Although the deadline is on Thursday, FIFA official Domenico Scala said it could take time before the names of the candidates are revealed.
“We cannot make a statement at the time of the date limit,” said Scala, president of FIFA’s Audit and Compliance Committee.
“A certain time will be needed before the ad hoc electoral commission are in a position to announce the candidates.”
The election will take place in Zurich on May 29.


Manchester City boss Guardiola gives Tommy Fleetwood a Pep talk ahead of Ryder Cup

Updated 28 min 45 sec ago
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Manchester City boss Guardiola gives Tommy Fleetwood a Pep talk ahead of Ryder Cup

  • World No.11 receives special message from Spaniard ahead of Europe's clash against the US
  • Fleetwood to make his Ryder Cup debut in Paris this week.

PARIS: Ryder Cup rookie Tommy Fleetwood will hope a message of motivation from Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola can spur him on to success for Europe in Paris this week.
Fleetwood, introduced to Guardiola through a mutual friend, was on a Cheshire golf course with the City boss in April when his side were crowned Premier League champions following Manchester United’s defeat by West Brom.
The pair then struck up a partnership at Wentworth for the celebrity Pro-Am event ahead of the BMW PGA Championship in May, and Guardiola has shown his support for Fleetwood ahead of this week’s showdown with the US.
“We all have these videos in the room, these motivational videos, and he was one of the guys that sent a message to me,” Fleetwood said.
“I’m not sure he’s coming over. I’m sure he’s busy at the weekend but he might make it over. But yeah, we always talk quite a lot.
“He’s somebody that’s great to know.”
Guardiola gushed about his first-hand Ryder Cup experience as a fan at the 2012 edition in Medinah, when Europe pulled off a remarkable final-day comeback to stun the Americans on their home patch.
The Spaniard, then on a 12-month sabbatical after leaving his post at Barcelona, was invited to the tournament as a guest of European captain Jose Maria Olazabal.
“He was at the Ryder Cup in Medinah, and he’ll always mention that that’s one of the greatest times he’s had in his life being at that Ryder Cup,” said Fleetwood.
“Yeah, it was a very special time. It has a special place in his heart, the Ryder Cup, and he’s been very supportive through the whole thing.
“Maybe we’ll see him, I don’t know.”
City are due to host Brighton in the Premier League on Saturday, not ruling out the possibility of Guardiola making an appearance for Sunday’s singles.