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Page last updated at 06:21 GMT, Friday, 27 August 2010 07:21 UK

Fifa president Sepp Blatter closes in on fourth term

Sepp Blatter and Mohamed Bin Hammam
Blatter has been Fifa president for the past 12 years

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has edged closer to taking on another four years in charge of world football after being backed by the Asian football chief.

Mohamed Bin Hammam, 61, is seen as a potential successor to 74-year-old Swiss Blatter but has ruled himself out running in the Fifa election next June.

"I will not run for the next Fifa election. I will back Sepp Blatter to remain in office," said Bin Hammam.

Bin Hammam's decision follows a similar move by Uefa president Michel Platini.

The Frenchman was also considered a key candidate for Fifa presidency but he will seek a second term as president of European football's governing body instead.

Bin Hammam, a Fifa executive committee member, said he would similarly seek re-election as Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president in 2011.

"My aim is to run for the next election of AFC president due at the start of 2011," added the Qatari.

"Hopefully I will get the full confidence of all the national associations."

After 12 years in office, Blatter has made it clear he does not plan to leave when his term runs out on 11 June 2011, saying he has not finished his mission.

The Swiss was elected Fifa president in 1998 and won a re-election fight in 2002 before continuing unopposed for his third term in 2007.

The Asian bloc, the biggest football confederation in the world, wields 46 votes in the presidential election and will play a vital role in deciding whether Blatter continues his reign.

Bin Hammam had previously said all Fifa presidents should be limited to two terms and that he would like to see an Asian as president of world football's governing body.

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see also
Platini voices England 2018 fears
26 Aug 10 |  Football
Fifa praises England 2018 Cup bid
26 Aug 10 |  Football
World Cup bids head-to-head
17 Oct 10 |  Football
Blatter wants fourth term at Fifa
20 Oct 09 |  Football
Bin Hammam supports 39th game
09 Oct 08 |  Football

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