Sepp Blatter has offered the alarmist prediction that FIFA will cease to exist as an organisation if he is ousted as President.Swiss Blatter, 75, has held the top job in football’s governing body since 1998, but is now being challenged by Asian Football Confederation President Mohamed Bin Hammam.
The election to date has been fought on issues such as alleged corruption within FIFA and the potential for reforms to key processes, specifically the World Cup bidding and voting structure.
But Blatter has now made by far the most sweeping statement yet in his campaign, suggesting that FIFA’s continuing existence depends on his re-election on June 1 to an office he has held for 13 years.
“The FIFA presidential election is not about candidate A or candidate B, it is about whether there will be any candidates at all in future,” Blatter said.
“The ballot on 1st June could lead to a seismic shift with irreversible damage.”
“Quite simply, the survival of FIFA is at stake. It is a question of whether the game’s established world governing body will continue to exist after this date or whether it will disappear into a black hole.”
“Is it that dramatic, you may ask. The answer is, theoretically, yes, it is.”
Blatter has already received the public backing of UEFA and South American football federation CONMEBOL and is supremely confident of seeing off the challenge of Bin Hammam.
“I am confident that I will win the election with a clear two-thirds majority,” he said.
“South America, Central and North America, Europe, Oceania and a significant part of Africa and Asia will continue to support my ideas. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile outlining what the alternative would be, i.e. none at all.”
“What applies for every carpenter also applies for us: the roof will only hold as long as the foundations are in place.”
“If the ground beneath crumbles, the entire edifice will collapse. And that is precisely what is at stake on 1st June. All or nothing.”