FIFA president Sepp Blatter is committed to standing for a fifth term in office, despite another year of controversy which has seen his his organisation’s reputation left in tatters.
The 78-year-old Swiss, who has been FIFA president since 1998, is determined to stand in May’s presidential elections.
Candidates have until the end of January to declare their intention to stand, with former FIFA official Jerome Champagne the only person to publicly confirm he will challenge Blatter, who is strong favoutite to retain the presidency.
Earlier today, the BBC reported that Blatter was wavering in his committment to stand again.
According to BBC Sport, Blatter was said to be being increasingly “weary” following years of fire-fighting multiple scandals, a hectic work schedule and the ongoing fallout to te decision to award the next two World Cups to Russia and Qatar.
However, Blatter is reported to have been reinvigorated by events at this month’s Club World Cup in Morocco, is in good health and has no plans to relinquish his position.
In an end-of-year statement published by FIFA, Blatter said: “Public opinion is important because football is the greatest game in the world; connecting people, giving emotions, passion and hope in this world, so it’s very important for me personally at the helm of football to restore credibility.”
Blatter’s pledge comes after a week which the man he appointed to investigate the World Cup corruption allegations, quit with a parting shot at FIFA’s leadership.
American lawyer Michael Garcia resigned as chairman of FIFA’s independent ethics committee after losing his appeal challenging the findings to clear Russia and Qatar to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.