ASUNCION - Sepp Blatter said he was
fully confident of winning another four-year term as FIFA
president as he secured the backing of South America's football chiefs on the campaign trail on Friday.
"Sure, I'm confident. I don't need to make a lot of
promises," said Blatter, who faces opposition from Asian
Football Confederation president Mohamed Bin Hammam in the 1 June FIFA presidential election.
"I'm not interested in what he is doing. I have my
programme, it's 36 years I've been serving FIFA," he said in an
interview with Reuters at the Paraguay headquarters of the South
American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL).
"(Bin Hammam) came into the FIFA executive committee in
1996, so he was part of the construction of today's FIFA. You
need to ask him why he wants to change that construction," the
The Swiss was certain he could count on the support of
CONMEBOL despite his recent criticism of the preparations for
the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.
"It was CONMEBOL that already in January or February 1998
made a declaration that the 10 countries of Conmebol were fully
behind Sepp Blatter," Blatter said, looking back to his election
that year in succession to Brazilian Joao Havelange.
"Therefore, I'm fully confident that they are still in the
same mood. I don't know why they shouldn't be."
His confidence was justified when CONMEBOL, who will
re-elect their Paraguayan president Nicolas Leoz unopposed for
another term on Sunday, announced their official support for
Blatter on Friday night.
"South America is unanimously and resoundingly committed to
supporting the candidacy of Joseph Blatter for another period as
president of FIFA, there's no doubt in this regard," Argentina
football chief Julio Grondona told the CONMEBOL executive board.
"That's how we started in 1998 and that's how we want to
continue for the good of world football."
Blatter said he wanted another term in which to finish what
he has called his "mission in football."
"We want to be a little more (influential) in our society... in education. What is education in our game? It is
discipline, respect, fighting spirit and fair play," he said.
Blatter said he wanted to "go away by the big door and not
go out by the back door".
Despite his recent reprimand, Blatter expressed his
confidence that Brazil would stage a great World Cup in 2014.
"They needed a little bit of a wake-up call and now they are
working hard," Blatter said. "I'm sure Brazil 2014 will be a
great, great moment in international football because Brazil is
the country of football.
"I do hope I will be in shape and in position to attend this
great event in Brazil."
Blatter had been concerned about delays in work on stadiums,
particularly in the major World Cup venues in Sao Paulo and Rio
He was concerned, for instance, about the giant Maracana in
Rio being ready by June 2013 for the Confederations Cup, which
serves as a dress rehearsal for the finals a year later.
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