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FA will back challengers to Sepp Blatter in Fifa vote

Sepp Blatter
Blatter took over from Joao Havelange in 1998

The Football Association will back any credible challengers to Sepp Blatter in the Fifa presidential elections in June, senior FA figures have revealed.

The FA board is yet to take an official position on the vote as Blatter seeks a fourth term but members are said to feel it is time for a change.

The FA will even consider writing to Asian football chief Mohamed Bin Hammam to urge him to stand against Blatter.

"We would consider contacting him to offer our support," said one FA member.

"We think three terms is enough."

The FA supported Blatter when he first stood for the Fifa presidency in 1998 but backed his defeated opponent Issa Hayatou in 2002.

Blatter was re-elected unchallenged in 2007 and is standing for election again in a vote that will be taken in Zurich on 1 June.

An FA spokesman said: "The matter has not been discussed but will be considered by the FA board when nominations have closed and the Fifa congress agenda has been published."

Anger at England's treatment during their bid to host the 2018 World Cup is thought, however, to have convinced FA chiefs that change is needed at the top of world football's governing body.

England were knocked out in the first round of voting for the right to host the Fifa competition with only two votes, whereas a majority of 12 were needed.

"If I win then OK, if lose I say 'thank you' then go away. You will have your new face and then we will see what will happen.
Fifa president Sepp Blatter

Immediately after the vote in December 2010, the FA's acting chairman Roger Burden withdrew his candidacy to be permanent chairman because he "could not trust" Fifa.

Many board members from both the professional and amateur game are said to be strongly opposed to Blatter.

Bin Hammam is a former ally of the 75-year-old Fifa president, but the 61-year-old has hinted that he might stand against him.

But Blatter, who has built up a strong powerbase within the 204 national associations that make up Fifa, would be difficult to unseat.

The Fifa president has, however, said he will "go away" if he loses the vote.

He said: "We are now in an elected process and the race is open. I have received support from different national associations to stand again.

"If I win then OK, if lose I say 'thank you' then go away. You will have your new face and then we will see what will happen."

Blatter added that he was not happy with the way his organisation got its message across.

"I'm not happy with what we do," he said. "Because we could communicate a bit better [than] what we are doing and then the perception would be different.

"I'm trying to bring some social and cultural impact. If there are some other candidates then we will face other candidates. That's a democratic system.

"The world will not stop and football will not stop."

Blatter did, though, point to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as evidence of his competence in the job.

He described the tournament as "the most splendid World Cup ever", a financial success and an inspiration to the African continent.

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see also
US writer seeks Fifa chief's job
18 Feb 11 |  Football
Bin Hammam calls for Fifa change
29 Jan 11 |  Football
Blatter wants fourth term at Fifa
20 Oct 09 |  Football
Fifa re-elects Blatter
29 May 02 |  Football
Blatter secures third Fifa term
31 May 07 |  Football

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