Unless something dramatic happens, Sepp Blatter will on Friday emerge victorious from his latest FIFA presidential battle. Despite the challenge from Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, the 79-year-old Swiss is widely expected to secure the majority of votes of the 209 member federations in the secret ballot, reports World Football Insider.
Despite struggling to brush aside a wave of corruption scandals since the botched World Cup bidding race in December 2010, it would be a major surprise if Blatter did not garner more than 140 votes.
After 17 years as FIFA chief, his stranglehold of support in world football’s six regional confederations is clear. With Africa, Asia and Oceania firmly behind him, considerable support for a fifth term at the helm of world football will also come from CONMEBOL and CONCACAF, where he has traditionally enjoyed strong support.
His opponent Prince Ali, the outgoing FIFA vice president, is going for broke to unseat Blatter but lacks the solid base of support built up over many years that has served Blatter well in recent elections.
Backed by former FIFA presidential candidates Michael van Praag and Luis Figo, who quit the race last week, the 39-year-old reforming presence on the FIFA ExCo can hope for good support from Europe – he is backed by UEFA president Michel Platini after all – as well as CONCACAF and CONMEBOL.
Prince Ali will get 15 minutes to present his vision for FIFA to the delegates gathered at Zurich’s Hallenstadion on May 29. Blatter, who didn’t publish a manifesto saying that people should judge him on his 17-year track record as FIFA boss, will then make his appeal to federations before football officials vote.
The election is listed as item 17 on the FIFA Congress agenda.
Other key areas for discussion and debate include the proposal by the Palestinian Football Association for the suspension of the Israeli FA. The PFA claims the Israeli FA routinely discriminates against Palestinian players, restricts players' freedom of movement and where clubs can be based.
Reports on the preparations for the Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 World Cups are also expected along with an update on FIFA’s plan to ban third-party ownership.
The mandates of the co-opted female members of the Executive Committee will also be extended. Next year’s congress takes place in Mexico City in May.