Blatter set for FIFA re-election
FIFA president Joseph Blatter looked set to be elected to a fourth term of office after a bid to postpone the vote was rejected Wednesday, DPA reported.
Delegates at the FIFA congress in Zurich overwhelmingly rejected a motion by England's Football Association to delay the elections in view of corruption allegations against executive committee members.
Blatter said if re-elected he would want future World Cup hosts to be decided by the 208-member congress rather than the 24-man executive committee.
FIFA has faced allegations of corruption regarding the bidding process, and the decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar continues to prove controversial.
"I want to give more power to the national associations," Blatter said.
"In the future the World Cup will be decided by the FIFA congress. The executive committee will create a shortlist - but will make no recommendations only a list - and the congress will decide on the venue."
The 75-year-old Swiss is standing unopposed in the election later in the day after Sunday's withdrawal by Qatari Mohammed bin Hammam.
Bin Hammam, who has been provisionally suspended by FIFA's ethics committee over bribery allegations, has protested to FIFA after being unable to attend the congress.
"Despite his explicit written request, he was not provided with the motivated decision of his suspension in due course and he was not able to file his appeal and was denied his last opportunity to get access to the FIFA congress," a statement from his press office said.
Blatter told delegates he was confident FIFA would overcome its current problems.
"I am the captain of this ship and we are weathering the storm," he said.
"Our ship is in troubled water and this is why we need to put the ship back on course - and for that we need a leader.
"We must do something because I don't want ever again to face a situation that is so undignified."
A motion by the English and Scottish associations for a postponement of the presidential elections was backed by 17 delegates but rejected by 172. The motion needed the backing of three-quarters of the congress.
English FA chairman David Bernstein, putting the proposal to the congress, said: "The election has turned into a one-horse race. Only with a contested election will the winner have...a proper, credible mandate."
However, England's FA found itself under attack from several delegates.
Argentinian football federation chief Julio Grondona said: "We always have attacks from England which are mostly lies with the support of journalism which is more busy lying than telling the truth. This upsets and disturbs the FIFA family."
He added: "It looks like England is always complaining so please I say will you leave the FIFA family alone, and when you speak, speak with truth."
Delegates from Congo, Cyprus, Benin and the Fiji Islands were also highly critical of the FA in speeches backing Blatter.