1 Jun 2011

Blatter to battle on

1:26 pm on 1 June 2011

The call to postpone the FIFA presidential election planned for tonight appears to be falling on deaf ears and Sepp Blatter looks set to be re-elected unopposed for a fourth term.

The English FA asked other nations to support its call for a delay to allow a rival candidate to step forward, but other national associations seemed less willing to throw their weight behind the Britons.

Allegations of cash-for-votes in both the FIFA presidency campaign and the World Cup bidding process have left FIFA reeling. Blatter, a Swiss national who has run FIFA since 1998, is standing unopposed after rival Mohamed bin Hammam withdrew over bribery allegations.

The only way Blatter will not be re-elected is if the FIFA Congress proposes and passes a motion to call off the vote with the support of 75 percent of voting delegates, however it is believed that only about a dozen or so countries out of the more than 200 attending are in favour of that.

A number of FIFA's top tier sponsors, including Coca Cola, Emirates Airline, Visa and Adidas, have expressed their disquiet about issues threatening the governing body's stability.

A Berlin-based anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency International, says FIFA should allow an external inquiry into the way it handles its affairs following allegations of cash-for-votes in both the presidential campaign and the World Cup bidding process.