ZURICH - England will propose that FIFA
postpone the re-election of Sepp Blatter as president on
Wednesday although chairman David Bernstein said they had little
chance of succeeding but felt duty-bound to try.
England, with the support of neighbours Scotland, will
propose during Congress that the election of the 75-year-old
Swiss, the sole candidate, should be delayed after a corruption
scandal raised concerns about his leadership of soccer.
Bernstein told a news briefing during the opening ceremony
of the Congress that the proposal was a matter of principle.
"To get the 150-odd votes we need clearly would be extremely
difficult when we are starting from a standing start," he said.
"But there was actually a matter of principle involved.
Myself and the FA feel that the situation FIFA has got itself
into is, in many ways, unacceptable.
The only way Blatter will not be re-elected on Wednesday is
if the Congress proposes and passes a motion to call off the
vote with the support of 75 percent of voting delegates.
"My board decided to abstain from the election when there
were two candidates standing, now there is only one left and,
given all the issues that have emerged since we did so, it would
have been inconsistent to have supported a one-horse race
candidate," added Bernstein.
"I don't think it would have been in the interests of
anybody, nor may I say in the interests of Mr Blatter.
"I would have thought if he's going to continue he should
want to continue having won a proper election with opposition
and then go forward with a full mandate," added Bernstein.
"Going forward in this situation if he does with a
coronation rather than an election I don't think does anybody
Asked if the FA had enough support, he said: "What I do know
is there is a lot of latent support, a lot of passive support,
but whether that will translate itself into people putting their
heads above the parapet we will see."
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 the FIFA presidency
campaign and the World Cup bidding process have left FIFA
Blatter, who has run FIFA since 1998, is standing unopposed
after rival Mohamed bin Hammam withdrew over bribery
Earlier, the FA said an independent external party should
make recommendations regarding improved governance and
compliance procedures and structures throughout the FIFA
decision-making processes for consideration by the full
FA President Prince William was "fully supportive" of
Bernstein and the proposals, a St. James's Palace spokesperson
told the BBC.
"He considers the transparency of the international
governing body to be integral to the good governance of the
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
featuring Prime Minister David Cameron, Prince William and David
Beckham. FIFA awarded the tournament 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.
Many delegates, speaking off the record, expressed their
displeasure with Blatter on Wednesday, but whether any back the
FA's campaign is doubtful.
"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.
"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
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