PtG Article 01.06.2011

Blatter set for re-election

As the sole candidate and with 174 of 208 member associations in favour of having the election despite English FA Chairman’s attempts for postponement, Sepp Blatter is set for re-election at today’s FIFA congress.

In his opening speech, Sepp Blatter described himself as the “captain weathering the storm” and assured the assembly that he would steer FIFA to shore through the “troubled water”.

And despite the suggestion from English FA Chairman David Bernstein who took the stand and urged the member organisations to postpone this “one-horse race” election, the voters seemed to have enough faith in Batter’s ability to navigate this organisation that is currently going through its largest crisis to shore and only 17 voted for the proposal to postpone elections.

The English suggestion was talked down by Chairmen from various FAs taking the stand after Bernstein where the English media was also hit with several attacks. Harshest was Ex-Co Member Julio Grondona who stated that "England always has something to complain about" and estimated England’s media coverage of FIFA to be "mostly lies."

The media coverage of FIFA this past week has been enormous and the reporting has also reached people outside of the football world. British MP Damian Collins is currently leading a call for the formation of an International partnership to reform FIFA and has been joined by several members of national parliaments reaching from Australia to Norway as well as members of the European Parliament.

At the FIFA Congress, Blatter also presented his plans for a reform of FIFA which consists in two main points: 1) World Cup hosting rights should be voted on by the entire FIFA Congress’ 208 members a move that will reduce the power of the Executive Committee. 2) the composition of the FIFA Ethics Committee will be voted on by the same congressional members.

Neither of these suggests that Blatter has been listening much to the critique he has been met by from outside, urging the organisation to allow independent external supervision to take place, and his reforming principles seem to be keeping the governing remits inside the organisation.The election is planned to take place Wednesday 1 June some time after 3 pm CET.For a live stream of the FIFA Congress in Zurich: go to the Guardian’s frequently updated blog for live reports: