Football’s world governing body FIFA voted against introducing age and term limits for its executives at its congress yesterday (Wednesday) as Sepp Blatter hit out at “disrespectful” attempts to curtail his presidency.
The referendum for age and term limits – one of the reforms listed by the former chairman of FIFA’S independent governance committee, Mark Pieth – required a majority to take the proposals forward to next year’s FIFA congress, where they would have required the backing of 75 per cent of members to be passed. With the proposals rejected, the position of 78-year-old Blatter would appear to have been strengthened, and the Swiss spoke of his incomplete “mission” at the helm yesterday, although he stopped short of confirming his intention to stand for another term in 2015.
On Tuesday, the national associations of England and the Netherlands were among those to speak out against Blatter continuing as president. The Swiss, who said originally that his current four-year term would be his last, said that the apparent European revolt “was the most disrespectful thing I've ever experienced in my entire life".
It was also confirmed yesterday by FIFA finance director Markus Kattner that the governing body plans to pay out $200m (€147m) in bonuses to its national members and confederations after generating revenues of $450m in relation to the 2014 World Cup, which starts in Brazil later today (Thursday). Each of the 209 member countries are set to receive $250,000 this month and a further $500,000 early next year, with the six continental bodies receiving $2.5m this month and $4.5m more next year. Following the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, each FIFA national member received $550,000, with the confederations receiving $5m each.
Kattner added that FIFA expects to earn $5bn in the four-year cycle leading up to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, with sponsors and licensing contributing $2.3bn and media rights sales generating $2.7bn. FIFA has more than $1.4bn in its reserve fund.
In other news, Michael Garcia, the former New York attorney who has been leading FIFA’S investigation into the controversial bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, gave the congress an update. Garcia, who will deliver his conclusions in mid-July, said: “No one should assume what information we have or do not have. We have reviewed the recent reports and all the documents referenced and attached to the reports. The vast majority has been available to us for some time, since well before the recent wave of news reports. That material was being and will continue to be examined and reviewed.”