FIFA Scandal Doesn’t Keep Sepp Blatter From Winning 5th Term

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Blatter's Truman moment.Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI

Days after more than a dozen FIFA officials were indicted by the U.S. government for corruption, Sepp Blatter was elected to his fifth term as president of soccer’s international governing body on Friday. His challenger, Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, managed to win enough votes to prevent Blatter from winning in the first round of voting, but he conceded before the second round was set to begin. Although many officials from Europe and North America desired a change in leadership, voters from Africa, Asia, South America, and Central America mostly supported Blatter, and made his victory all but inevitable. 

Blatter was not mentioned in this week’s indictment, and told his FIFA colleagues on Friday“I accept that the FIFA president is responsible for everything. But I would like to share that responsibility with you.”

He also noted“You can’t ask people to behave ethically just like that.”

After Blatter had officially been reelected, just as everyone expected he would be, the president gave one last speech. “For the next four years I will be in command of this boat called FIFA," he said. "Beach soccer will be played everywhere. I am now the president of everybody. I am now the president of the whole FIFA … It’s important, this game, but more important is to enjoy life."

Meanwhile, the Justice Department’s investigation into the organization is ongoing.