May 10, 2014 (ISN) – FIFA President Sepp Blatter has given probably his biggest indication yet that he will stand for a fifth term as the head of football’s world governing body during a meeting in Zurich.
According to Swiss newspaper Blick, the 78-year-old, first elected in 1998 to replace Brazilian João Havelange, told a group of 150 people during an event in Zurich, “I can state today I want to go on.
“I want to do it for another term.
“It is not over yet.
“My term is indeed over, but my mission is not finished yet!”
Blatter had initially claimed his current fourth term would be his last after running un-opposed in 2011, due to rival Mohamed Bin Hammam’s withdrawal as a candidate having been accused of offering cash for votes.
But, over recent months Blatter has repeatedly dropped hints he would consider running for another term, telling Swiss broadcaster RTS that he “wouldn’t say no” to a new mandate, provided he was in good health, during the Sochi Winter Olympics in February.
Despite the many indications, Blatter has always insisted that he would make a decision on or around the time of the FIFA Congress in São Paolo just before this year’s World Cup.
So far only former FIFA administrator Jérôme Champagne has officially declared his candidacy ahead of the 2015 elections.
But the Frenchman has already made it clear that he will drop out of the running’s should his former boss chose to run again.
UEFA President Michel Platini has previously claimed he is the only man that can beat Blatter in the race for FIFA leadership, although the 58-year-old Frenchman is yet to say whether he will run for the office, telling media in March he will not reach a decision until after the World Cup in Brazil.