LONDON - The English and Scottish Football
Associations urged FIFA on Tuesday to postpone a presidential
election planned for Wednesday after a corruption scandal raised
concerns about Sepp Blatter's leadership of football.
The English FA asked other nations to support its call for a
delay to allow a rival candidate to step forward, rather than
allow Blatter, 75, to be re-elected unopposed for a fourth term.
The Scottish FA backed its English counterpart, but other
national associations seemed less willing to throw their weight
behind the Britons.
Allegations of cash-for-votes in both the FIFA presidency
campaign and the World Cup bidding process have left FIFA
reeling. Blatter, a Swiss national who has run FIFA since 1998,
is standing unopposed after rival Mohamed Bin Hammam withdrew
over bribery allegations.
"We call on FIFA and ask other national associations to
support us with two initiatives," English FA chairman David
Bernstein said in a statement.
"First, to postpone the election and give credibility to
this process, so any alternative reforming candidate could have
the opportunity to stand for President."
"Secondly, to appoint a genuinely independent external party
to make recommendations regarding improved governance and
compliance procedures and structures throughout the FIFA
decision making processes for consideration by the full
membership," he added.
The FA had already said it intended to abstain in the
election for FIFA president.
England's relations with FIFA have been strained since it
failed in a bid to host the 2018 World Cup despite a campaign
featured Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince William. FIFA
awarded the competition to Russia last December.
The FIFA President is elected in the year following a World
Cup by a Congress which is attended by all member associations.
The only way Blatter will not be re-elected on Wednesday is
if the FIFA Congress proposes and passes a motion to call off
the vote with the support of 75 percent of voting delegates.
The English move did not appear to have much momentum behind
"We have not had a chance to sit down and discuss the matter
with the English or even to read their statement," Kirsten
Nematandani, president of the South African Football
Association, told Reuters by phone from Zurich.
"Maybe they will still seek to engage with us before the
The head of the French Football Federation said he hoped the
issue could be defused at Congress.
"All this certainly does not do any good to the world of
football," Fernand Duchaussoy told reporters.
"I hope there will not be a clash at the Congress tomorrow,
but you cannot rule it out."
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