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Blatter drops hint he plans to stay on as FIFA president

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Fri, May 03, 2013 05:39 hrs
Sepp Blatter

FIFA president Sepp Blatter dropped a hint he plans to stand again for another four year term as the head of world soccer's governing body during a speech to AFC delegates in Malaysia on Friday.


Blatter had said he planned to step down from office at the end of his latest four-year term in 2015 but opened up a loophole in March by adding that was providing he could find someone to carry on his legacy.

The 77-year-old Swiss was talking at the Asian Football Confederation Congress in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, discussing his reform plans when he appeared to let slip he was not going to quit the presidency in two years time.

"This will be the last term of, not of office, the last term of the reform," Blatter said, smiling as he delivered the message.

The Swiss then went on to say that this would be the last presidential term of his reform pledges brought in to clean up the scandal hit body that has seen members routinely banned on graft charges.

UEFA president Michel Platini, who watched on Thursday as Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain won the AFC presidential election in a landslide, has long been tipped to replace Blatter.

But Blatter used his speech on Friday to take a pop at the power of the Frenchman's European confederation, citing an unfairness in the number of World Cup places that UEFA has.

"We have to start to see the access to the World Cup, the access to the World Cup should be a little bit better balanced," Blatter said.

"In 2014 in Brazil 32 teams, one has qualified from South America and then you have 13 teams from one of the continents, which is Europe, and possibly five more from South America," Blatter said.

"If this happens then you have 19 out of 32 there is no chance to kick them out before one of them is in the semi-finals, this is the law of the numbers.

"We shall have a look on this, you should have a look on that and bring such items on the agenda because we should have a better balance."

Asia has four guaranteed places at the next World Cup in Brazil with a fifth possible if another side beats a South American team in an intercontinental playoff.

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