ZURICH - Africa became the fourth
continent to back FIFA president Sepp Blatter's bid for
re-election while the Swiss said that he could not lose.
Africa joined Europe, South America and Oceania in backing a
fourth term for Blatter, who is being challenged by Asian
football chief Mohamed Bin Hammam.
Blatter also announced plans to make sure a woman sat on the
FIFA Executive Committee if, as he expected, he won.
"I can't lose," Blatter, 75, was quoted as saying by German
news agency DPA. "I have confidence in myself and confidence
also that the associations will choose me for another four
"Until now, it has been a macho structure with 24 members,"
he added "We should create a women's quota and raise it 25
He put forward Lydia Nsekera, president of the Burundi
federation, as the first possible occupant of the new post.
Each national association holding one vote at the FIFA
Congress, which will choose the president in Zurich on June 1.
Africa and Europe hold 53 apiece, while South America has 10
and Oceania 11, making a total of 127 which would be more than
enough for what Blatter has already promised will be a final
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced its
"Following a secret ballot, the CAF executive committee
voted in the majority to support the incumbent," a brief
statement from Cairo said.
However, voting is secretive and national associations are
not obliged to obey their regional confederation's orders,
something which gives hope to Bin Hammam.
African countries, especially, have been known to ignore
their confederation's recommendations in the past.
When Blatter was voted to power in 1998, the CAF executive
campaigned vigorously for his Swedish opponent Lennart Johansson
but the majority of Africa went against the regional body's
wishes and helped the Swiss sweep to victory.
They also failed to give the expected backing to their own
president Issa Hayatou when he challenged Blatter four years
Blatter is due to meet more than 40 African football association leaders in a hastily arranged conference in
Johannesburg at the weekend, to discuss the legacy of last
year's World Cup in South Africa.
In the DPA interview, Blatter also replied to criticism from
Bin Hammam that he had not consulted the executive committee
before last week's announcement of a 20 million euro donation to Interpol to help combat match-fixing and
"I can't call in the executive committee every time," he
said. I'm an executive president who has been given the job by
the executive committee and the FIFA Congress of keeping all
illegal wheeling and dealing out of football."
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