In the tradition of great dictators everywhere, Sepp Blatter has decided he doesn't want to give up the levers of power after all. Despite saying in 2011 that this term would be his last, the FIFA President told the Soccerex Global Convention in Manchester today that he plans to run in the next election in Zurich next year.
There is much, el Presidente said, still to be done. 'You see, a mission is never finished, and my mission is not finished,' the 78-year-old explained, seemingly unaware that this would mean his mission would also never be finished, and that therefore presumably he should be President until he dies. 'We will build a new FIFA together.'
What exactly Blatter intends to do that he hasn’t already done in the last 16 years remains to be seen. Perhaps going through with his suggestion of tighter shorts for women players, or backing the World Cup bid of yet another underrepresented, football-friendly nation (North Korea 2026, anyone?)?
Although his tenure has been mired in controversy, Blatter insisted that he had the support of 'the huge majority of national associations, asking "please go on, be our President also in the future"'. Because that's just what democratic bodies say to their elected leaders...
It looks likely that Blatter’s supporters will get their way. The person best placed to challenge him in next year’s election, UEFA boss Michel Platini, announced last week that he won’t run against Blatter.
Despite having had a grand total of two Presidents and two contested elections in the last 40 years, FIFA does have some vestiges of democracy. Those looking to bring about a little more of it will look instead to Jerome Champagne, FIFA’s former deputy general-secretary and the only other declared candidate for the 2015 vote.