Blatter to stand for fifth term as FIFA president

Sepp Blatter has confirmed he intends to stand for a fifth term as FIFA president, Sky Sports has reported.

Blatter made the announcement in a video message screened at the Soccerex conference in Manchester and had previously claimed he would step down at the end of his term in 2015.

The 78-year-old made the promise when standing for re-election in 2011 but, having been first voted into office in 1998, will now fight for a further four-year term.

Blatter has the public support of five of world football’s six continental associations as only UEFA, representing European football, have stood in opposition. The election will be held at the FIFA congress in May.

“You see a mission is never finished. And my mission is not finished,” Blatter said when announcing his candidacy. “Then I got through the last Congress in Sao Paulo not only the impression but the support of the majority, a huge majority of national associations asking ‘Please go on, be our president also in future’.

“In football, this game that you start to play at the youngest possible level, you learn discipline, respect and fair play,” he continued. “If you’re at the higher level, you forget that this is discipline, respect and fair play. You’ve forgotten it.

“But, at least, don’t forget that in football, you learn to win but also to lose. So, therefore, I appeal to all those to go back to the essence of football, and then you learn to lose. I have lost a lot of times but, if you lose, then you stay there and you try to be better. And then, stay fair – that’s all.

“Fair play was invented by England, Great Britain – the beautiful game and fair play. So let’s celebrate fair play.”

Blatter succeeded Joao Havelange, who held the presidency between 1974 and 1998, having worked at FIFA since 1975.

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