An infected Blatter leaving a yellow stain on FIFA?

UPDATE: With further claims in the U.S. that Blatter was, as an anonymous source told The New York Times, “the focus of a federal corruption investigation,” Blatter announced his decision to resign yesterday, June 2.

Sepp Blatter, a 79 year-old Swiss, was re-elected last week for his fifth term leading football’s international governing body, FIFA. Despite a recent corruption scandal that led to the arrest of seven officials and five business executives, he claimed victory and accused U.S. authorities and the British media of trying to topple his chances with the timing and reporting of the racketeering, wire fraud, and money-laundering charges.

Blatter made conspiracy connections regarding why they would try to spoil his earnings. “There are unmistakeable signs: The Americans were candidates for the 2022 World Cup, and they lost. The English were candidates for the 2018 World Cup. They lost,” he argued, making it seem as if this was some sort of revenge plot. Possibilities must be considered, as there is still enough time to change the 2022 World Cup location.

It is quite miraculous that a man had been re-elected with so much drama in the press, but the African nations, along with the Asian countries, are in almost full support of Blatter’s progress in office. This is a result of investment, and countless developmental programs which he supposedly pushed.

There are still some who take a different stance from the majority in the two continents.  A former administrator of Zambia, Simataa Simataa, said, “A lot of things have been done using FIFA money—the perception is that it’s Sepp Blatter’s money. But this . . . is about more than just projects, it is about constitutions, about rules, about ethics—and all those I’ve mentioned have declined under the leadership of Sepp Blatter.” However, most are not willing to take their chances with another candidate. “We don’t want to experiment,” Amaju Pinnick, head of Nigerian Football Association, commented. This funding is great for them, and it only makes sense that nations are cautious about change.

There is space for bribery in the voting process, especially as the host of the 2018 World Cup is Russia. Almost in immediate response, “Putin expressed certainty that Blatter’s experience, professionalism and high level of authority will further allow him to spread the geographical reach and popularity of football,” said a Kremlin official.

Luis Figo, a former Barcelona, Real Madrid and Portugal star, decided to withdraw from the election in hopes of increasing the amount of votes for his fellow candidate, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan. Blatter won the vote 133-73, and outraged, Figo stated, “If Mr. Blatter were minimally concerned about football, he would have given up on re-election.” He further added, “There’s no way someone can lead FIFA ignoring the most elementary rules of transparency, legality and democracy … .If he has a minimum of decency, he will resign in the next few days.”

Meanwhile, it appears that the battle of East vs. West has gone all the way from Syria to Iraq to football. UEFA is following its own president and going completely against Blatter, and many others are suggesting that European nations should boycott the next World Cup. Things are not looking good for international football.

Sources: CNN, Reuters, Guardian, Mirror