Sepp Blatter has vowed to fight a challenge to his leadership from Asian Football Confederation president Mohammad Bin Hammam, who is considering contesting the FIFA presidential election next year.
Bin Hammam told the AFC conference in Seoul this week that “the time has come” to put forward an Asian candidate. Bin Hammam also called for Fifa presidents to be restricted to serving two terms.
The comments drew a bullish response from Blatter, 74, who declared that he is confident of securing a fourth term.
“It seems obvious that there will be a candidate from Asia but I have not changed my mind,” said Blatter. “I slept well despite the news from Seoul. I am still here and I hope I will still be here in 2011. I have not finished my mission and if the congress decides [to back me] then I will still be here.”
Blatter’s priority in recent months has been a rapprochement with Uefa president Michel Platini, whose support could prove vital in next year’s election. With that in mind, it looks as if a deal to ensure the 2018 World Cup finals are held in Europe, has been done.