Blatter in April 2015
|8th President of FIFA|
8 June 1998 –21 December 2015
(banned until 2022)
|Preceded by||João Havelange|
|Succeeded by|| Issa Hayatou (acting)|
10 March 1936
Visp, Valais, Switzerland
Barbara Käser(m. 1981–1991)
Graziella Bianca(m. 2002–2004)
|Domestic partner||Ilona Boguska (1995–2002)|
Linda Barras (2014–present)
Joseph "Sepp" Blatter(born 10 March 1936) is a Swiss football administrator who was the eighth President of the FIFA (French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association) from 1998 to 2015. He is currently serving a six-year ban from participating in FIFA activities.
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.
From a background in business, public relations, and sports administration, Blatter became general secretary of FIFA in 1981 and was then elected president at the 51st FIFA Congress on 8 June 1998, succeeding João Havelange, who had headed the organization since 1974. Blatter was reelected in 2002, 2007, 2011, and 2015. Like his predecessor Havelange, Blatter sought to increase the influence of African and Asian countries in world football through the expansion of participating teams in various FIFA tournaments.
The 51st FIFA Congress was held between 6 and 8 June 1998, at the Equinox congress hall in Paris, France, just before the start of the 1998 FIFA World Cup. It was the last biannual meeting of the international governing body of association football FIFA, since 1998 the congress has been held on an annual basis. The congress saw the election of Joseph "Sepp" Blatter as the 8th President of FIFA who succeeded João Havelange. Havelange had held the presidency since 1974.
Jean-Marie Faustin Godefroid "João" de Havelange was a Brazilian lawyer, businessman, athlete and centenarian who served as the seventh President of FIFA from 1974 to 1998. His tenure as President is the second longest in FIFA's history, behind only that of Jules Rimet. He received the title of Honorary President when leaving office, but resigned in April 2013. He succeeded Stanley Rous and was succeeded by Sepp Blatter. João Havelange served as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 1963 to 2011. He was the longest-serving active member upon his resignation. In July 2012 a Swiss prosecutor's report revealed that, during his tenure on FIFA's Executive Committee, he and his son-in-law Ricardo Teixeira took more than $41 million in bribes in connection with the award of World Cup marketing rights.
He has persistently been dogged by claims of corruption and financial mismanagement. Blatter's reign oversaw a vast expansion in revenues generated by the FIFA World Cup accompanied by the collapse of the marketing company International Sport and Leisure and numerous allegations of corruption in the bidding processes for the awarding of FIFA tournaments.
International Sport and Leisure (ISL) was a Swiss sports marketing company that was closely bound to FIFA.
On 2 June 2015, six days after the United States government indicted several current and former FIFA officials and sports marketing companies for bribery and money laundering,Blatter announced that he would call for elections to choose a new president of FIFA and that he would not stand in these elections, but he also said he would remain in his position until an extraordinary FIFA Congress could be held for his successor to be elected. Criminal proceedings were announced against Blatter by the Swiss Attorney General's office on 25 September 2015, regarding "criminal mismanagement... and misappropriation".
In 2015, U.S. federal prosecutors disclosed cases of corruption by officials and associates connected with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the governing body of association football, futsal and beach soccer.
The 2016 FIFA Extraordinary Congress was held at the Hallenstadion in Zürich, Switzerland, on 26 February 2016. This special session of the FIFA Congress, called as a result of the 2015 FIFA corruption case, included the passage of a major statutory reforms proposal as well as the election of Gianni Infantino to replace Sepp Blatter as the President of FIFA.
In October 2015, Blatter and other top FIFA officials were suspended amid the investigation,and in December the independent FIFA Ethics Committee ejected Blatter from office and banned him from taking part in any FIFA activities over the following eight years. On 24 February 2016, a FIFA appeals committee upheld the suspension but reduced it from eight years to six. Issa Hayatou served as the acting President of FIFA until an extraordinary FIFA Congress was held in late February, electing Gianni Infantino as the 9th president of FIFA.
The FIFA Ethics Committee is one of FIFA's three judicial bodies. It is organized in two chambers, the Investigatory Chamber and the Adjudicatory Chamber. Its duties are regulated by several official documents, most importantly the FIFA Code of Ethics. FIFA's other judicial bodies are the Disciplinary Committee and the Appeal Committee.
Issa Hayatou is a Cameroonian former athlete and sports executive. He served as the acting FIFA president until 26 February 2016 as the previous president, Sepp Blatter, was banned from all football-related activities in 2015 as a part of the FIFA corruption investigation of 2015. He was the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) between 1988 and 2017. In 2002, he ran for president of FIFA but was defeated by Blatter. He is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Giovanni Vincenzo "Gianni" Infantino is a Swiss–Italian football administrator and the current president of FIFA. He was elected President of FIFA during the 2016 FIFA Extraordinary Congress on 26 February 2016.
Blatter was born in Visp in the Swiss canton of Valais with the given name of Josef. He studied in Saint Maurice, before getting a degree in business and economics from the University of Lausanne in 1959. Blatter has had a long and varied career, including posts such as head of public relations for the tourist board of his native canton, as well as general secretary of the Swiss Ice Hockey Federation.
Visp is the capital of the district of Visp in the canton of Valais in Switzerland.
Saint-Maurice, or Saint-Maurice d'Agaune, is a small city located in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. It is also the capital of the district and of the municipality of Saint-Maurice. The district of Saint-Maurice (district) is composed with 9 municipalities : Collonges, Dorénaz, Evionnaz, Finhaut, Massongex, Salvan, St-Maurice, Vernayaz and Vérossaz. On 1 January 2013, the former municipality of Mex merged into the municipality of Saint-Maurice.
The University of Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland was founded in 1537 as a school of theology, before being made a university in 1890. As of fall 2017, about 15,000 students and 3,300 employees study and work at the university. Approximately 1,500 international students attend the university, which has a wide curriculum including exchange programs with world-renowned universities.
He was Director of Sports Timing and Relations of Longines S.A., and was involved in the organization of the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games.
From 1975 onwards, Blatter worked at FIFA, first as technical director (1975–1981), then general secretary (1981–1998), before his election as FIFA president in 1998.He was re-elected as head of FIFA in 2002, and was re-elected unopposed for another four years on 31 May 2007, even though only 66 of 207 FIFA members nominated him.
Blatter and FIFA have often been dogged by controversy and allegations of corruption.His tenure has seen controversy over allegations of financial mismanagement and the acceptance of bribes resulting in Qatar's successful 2022 World Cup bid.
Blatter has attracted criticism from the media, senior football figures and players,due to controversial statements. These include the claim that Latin American countries would applaud John Terry for having an extramarital affair, and that on-field racism could be corrected with a handshake, among others. He also drew criticism at the 2014 FIFA World Cup seeding, when he interrupted a "one-minute silence" for former South-African president Nelson Mandela, who died the day before, after eleven seconds. Michael van Praag, the chairman of the Royal Dutch Football Association, called his behavior "preposterous" and expressed the hope Blatter would not be reelected in 2015.
Blatter has been publicly heckled, at the World Cup in Seoul and the Confederations Cup in Frankfurt, both in 2006,in his home town of Visp in 2011, at the 2012 Women's Olympic Football Final Medal Ceremony, and at the opening of Confederations Cup match in 2013. In order to avoid protest, no speeches were given at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Sepp Blatter's 1998 election to the presidency of FIFA over UEFA President Lennart Johansson occurred amidst much controversy.Blatter's 2002 candidacy has been marked with rumours of financial irregularities and backroom dealings, culminating with direct accusations of bribery, by a third party, made in the British press by Farra Ado, vice-president of the Confederation of African Football and president of the Somali Football Federation, who claimed to have been offered $100,000 to vote for Blatter in 1998.
In the 2006 FIFA World Cup, after a controversial second-round match between Portugal and the Netherlands, which saw referee Valentin Ivanov issue a record 16 yellow cards and four red cards, Blatter was said to have lambasted the officiating referee, and said that Ivanov should have given himself a yellow card for his poor performance as a referee.He later claimed to regret his words and promised to officially apologise to Ivanov.
However, this apology was never given, and the referee was removed from further officiating.
Blatter was criticized in 2007 and 2008 for trying to change European Union employment law regarding the number of foreign players that football clubs could field at any one time. His plans were to set a restriction of five foreign players and having six players from the said team's own nationality. Blatter believed this would help the countries' national sides by having more national players playing in their leagues.
Blatter has often referred to the English Premier League as one of the major problems in football and used it as an example, due to the influence of foreign players, coaches and owners in the top teams.
It was reported that Blatter had "cut an unofficial deal with UEFA head Michel Platini" to ensure Europe would receive the 2018 World Cup, such that if the non-European bids did not withdraw from 2018 "they will find themselves frozen out and not given any backing by the FIFA High Command, damaging their chances of being serious contenders for the second tournament."
Eleven bids were submitted in March 2009 covering 13 nations. Mexico and Indonesia withdrew. Five of the remaining nine bids—South Korea, Qatar, Japan, Australia and the United States—were only for the 2022 World Cup, while all the others were bidding for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
However, since all of the bids for the 2018 World Cup were from European nations, and FIFA's rules dictate that countries belonging to confederations that hosted either of the two preceding tournaments are not eligible to host,the bids of England, Russia, Netherlands/Belgium and Spain/Portugal were forced to be for 2018 only.
The criticism attracted by Blatter's refusal to allow goal-line technology or video replays intensified following the controversial Frank Lampard disallowed goal in the match between England and Germany on 27 June 2010.
Two days later, Blatter stated that he deplored the "evident referee mistakes" in the England v Germany and Mexico v Argentina matches, and apologised to the English Football Association and the Mexican Football Federation (the two organizations directly concerned by the referees' mistakes), acknowledging that Lampard had indeed scored against Germany and that Tévez's goal against Mexico had been scored from an offside position.
He added: "It is obvious that after the experiences so far at this World Cup it would be a nonsense not to re-open the file on goal-line technology. […] We will come out with a new model in November on how to improve high level referees. […] I cannot disclose more of what we are doing but something has to be changed."
In 2011, elections were scheduled for the FIFA presidency, in which Blatter was again the incumbent candidate, running for a fourth consecutive term. The ChangeFIFA organisation, on 29 March 2011, endorsed former Chilean defender and for three years running South American Footballer of the Year Elías Figueroa as candidate for the presidency, urging national federations to nominate him,but, subsequently, Figueroa decided not to accept the nomination, stating that "in such a short period of time" he could not develop a case "worthy of the magnitude and importance of such a distinguished job"
The vote took place at the 61st FIFA Congress in Zurich.The only other candidate, Mohammed bin Hammam of Qatar, withdrew from the presidential race on 28 May, just before the vote. Bin Hammam had supported Blatter's 1998 and 2002 presidential campaigns, but admitted that he had fallen out with Blatter over issues within the FIFA Executive Committee. The FIFA ethics committee that investigated bribery claims against Bin Hammam and CONCACAF head Jack Warner announced that Blatter will not face an investigation into claims that he knew of the bribery and did nothing about it, because of a lack of evidence.
Blatter criticised the International Olympic Committee (IOC), stating FIFA manage their finances "like a housewife", after the IOC announced it would look into allegations of corruption against Issa Hayatou, president of the Confederation of African Football.
There being no other nominations, Blatter ran unopposed in the ensuing presidential election and was re-elected for a fourth term, with 186 of the 203 votes cast. In his campaign, Blatter had stipulated that, if re-elected in 2011, he would not run again for president.Blatter received criticism for not postponing his 2011 election in which his term as FIFA President was extended through 2015, despite the fact that all other candidates for the role had been suspended or withdrew.
Amidst internal divisions, FIFA's secretary-general Blatter's deputy and former protégé Michel Zen-Ruffinen drew up a 30-page dossier outlining allegations of financial mismanagement within the organisation.The dossier alleged that the collapse of FIFA's marketing partner ISL had led to losses of up to $100m under Blatter's management.
The allegations were backed by Johansson,and the dossier was handed to the Swiss authorities, but they cleared Blatter of any wrongdoing and FIFA had to pay all the costs. An internal investigation within FIFA was halted by Blatter because members of it broke confidentiality agreements. This questionable behaviour led him to remove Zen-Ruffinen from office immediately before the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
In April 2012 the Council of Europe published a report which stated it would be "difficult to imagine" that Blatter would have been unaware of "significant sums" paid to unnamed FIFA officials by ISSM/ISL in connection with lucrative contracts for World Cup television rights and the subsequent bankruptcy and collapse of ISL in 2001.The Council of Europe report will be considered by over 300 parliamentarians from the 47 Council of Europe member states in Strasbourg.
Controversy came in the British press when Russia was awarded the 2018 event, with England receiving just two of their "promised" votes; this controversy was dismissed by Blatter as the English showing themselves to be "bad losers".The awarding of the 2022 games to Qatar was also controversial. The illegality of homosexuality in the nation caused Blatter to joke that "I would say they [gay fans] should refrain from any sexual activities", which brought criticism from retired basketball player John Amaechi and gay rights groups.
On 29 April 2013, FIFA's Ethics Committee concluded its investigation into allegations of illegal payments to FIFA officials from the organisation's former marketing partner International Sports and Leisure (ISL), which went bankrupt in 2001,and published its report.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter was cleared of any misconduct, but his predecessor, Brazilian João Havelange, resigned as FIFA's honorary presidentover his part in the scandal, since Havelange along with former FIFA Executive Committee members Ricardo Teixeira and Dr. Nicolas Leoz were found to have accepted illegal payments between 1992 and May 2000. A week before FIFA's ethics committee announced its findings, 84-year-old Leoz had resigned from his post as president of the South American Football Confederation, citing "health reasons".
Blatter, in a statement, "note[d] with satisfaction" that the report "confirms that 'President Blatter's conduct could not be classified in any way as misconduct with regard to any ethics rules'." He added he has "no doubt that FIFA, thanks to the governance reform process that [Blatter] proposed now has the mechanisms and means to ensure that such an issue does not happen again", though admitting that the scandal "has caused untold damage to the reputation of [FIFA]."
In 2015, elections were scheduled for the FIFA presidency, in which Blatter was again the incumbent candidate, running for a fifth consecutive term. Prince Ali bin Hussein was his opponent in the election.
The vote took place at the 65th FIFA Congress in Zürich on 29 May 2015. Neither party received the necessary two-thirds majority of votes from the first round with Blatter receiving 133 to Prince Ali's 73. According to FIFA rules, a second round should have been held for the two candidates, with a simple majority being sufficient for victory. However, before the second round of voting commenced, Prince Ali announced his withdrawal, handing Blatter victory by default.
On 2 June 2015, FIFA abruptly called a press conference at their Zürich headquarters, where Blatter announced that he would resign from the post of FIFA president amid the ongoing corruption scandal.
During the news conference he said: "My mandate does not appear to be supported by everybody" and announced an extraordinary congress scheduled "as soon as possible" to elect his successor.Blatter announced that he would remain in office until his successor could be elected at the extraordinary congress, likely to be held some time between December 2015 and March 2016. He continued with words: "While I have a mandate from the membership of FIFA, I do not feel that I have a mandate from the entire world of football—the fans, the players, the clubs, the people who live, breathe, and love football as much as we all do at FIFA".
Subsequently, on 26 June Blatter prompted speculation that he might be preparing to renege on this resignation, when he was quoted as saying that "I have not resigned, I put my mandate in the hands of an extraordinary congress". This seemed to contradict his comments from 2 June 2015.He was further quoted as saying that he resigned "to take away the pressure from FIFA and my employees, including [pressure] from the sponsors". Reports speculated that it appears that Blatter will step down at the "extraordinary congress" though the situation remains vague.
On 25 September, Swiss investigators announced that they were investigating Blatter in relation to payments made to UEFA president Michel Platini.While Blatter and Platini denied any impropriety around the payments, major FIFA sponsors Coca-Cola, Visa Inc., McDonald's, and Budweiser issued public statements requesting that he resign for the good of FIFA.
On 8 October 2015 he was suspended from FIFA for 90 days while investigations into payments made to Michel Platini were conducted. FIFA said in a statement: "The grounds for these decisions are the investigations that are being carried out by the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee."On 21 December, FIFA's ethics committee banned both Blatter and Platini from football for eight years. In February 2016, a FIFA appeals committee upheld the suspension but reduced it from eight years to six.
In November 2017, American soccer star Hope Solo accused Blatter of sexual assault at the FIFA Ballon d'Or awards in 2013. During an interview with the Portuguese newspaper Expresso, Solo stated she "had Sepp Blatter grab my ass" just before the two presented an award together to Abby Wambach.She stated she "was in shock and completely thrown off. I had to quickly pull myself together to present my team-mate with the biggest award of her career and celebrate with her in that moment, so I completely shifted my focus to Abby." Blatter's spokesman Thomas Renggli stated "This allegation is ridiculous."
Blatter has been the recipient of numerous awards, medals, honorary degrees, and citizenships from nation states, sport governing bodies, special interest groups, universities, and cities.
His honorary degree from De Montfort University was revoked by the institution in October 2015, as it had previously been given in recognition of his ethical conduct.
Blatter's first wife was Liliane Biner. The couple had a daughter, Corinne,and divorced shortly after. In 1981, Blatter married Barbara Käser, the daughter of Helmut Käser, Blatter's predecessor as secretary general of FIFA. Their marriage lasted ten years until Barbara died from complications after an operation. In 1995, Blatter began dating Ilona Boguska, a Polish friend of his daughter Corinne, before they separated in 2002.
Blatter married for a third time on 23 December 2002, to Graziella Bianca, a dolphin trainer who was a friend of his daughter. [ better source needed ] Since 2014, he is in a domestic partnership with Linda Barras.Their marriage ended in divorce in 2004.
Blatter was raised as a Catholic.
Michel François Platini is a French former football player, manager and administrator. Regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, Platini won the Ballon d'Or three times, in 1983, 1984 and 1985, and came sixth in the FIFA Player of the Century vote. In recognition of his achievements, he was named Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1985 and became Officier in 1988. As the president of UEFA in 2015 he was banned from football, over ethics violations.
The bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups was the process by which the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) selected locations for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups. The process began officially in March 2009; eleven bids from thirteen countries were received, including one which was withdrawn and one that was rejected before FIFA's executive committee voted in November 2010. Two of the remaining nine bids applied only to the 2022 World Cup, while the rest were initially applications for both. Over the course of the bidding, all non-European bids for the 2018 event were withdrawn, resulting in the exclusion of all European bids from consideration for the 2022 edition. By the time of the decision, bids for the 2018 World Cup included England, Russia, a joint bid from Belgium and Netherlands, and a joint bid from Portugal and Spain. Bids for the 2022 World Cup came from Australia, Japan, Qatar, South Korea, and the United States. Indonesia's bid was disqualified due to lack of governmental support, and Mexico withdrew its bid for financial reasons.
Mohamed bin Hammam is a Qatari who was a football administrator and president of the Asian Football Confederation from 1 August 2002 to 14 June 2011, and a member of FIFA's 24-man executive committee from 1996 to 2011 for more than 15 years. On 23 July 2011, Bin Hammam was banned for life from all FIFA and football related activities by an action of the FIFA Ethics Committee. Bin Hammam challenged this sanction in the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the ban was subsequently annulled on 19 July 2012 due to lack of sufficient evidence. However, just 5 months later in December 2012, FIFA handed bin Hammam a second life ban from football after "conflicts of interest" were identified in his role as president of the AFC.
Andrew Jennings is a British investigative reporter. He is best known for his work investigating and writing about corruption in the IOC and FIFA.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to be the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international men's football championship contested by the national teams of the member associations of FIFA. It is scheduled to take place in Qatar in 2022. This will be the first World Cup ever to be held in the Arab world and the first in a Muslim-majority country. This will be the first World Cup held entirely in geographical Asia since the 2002 tournament in South Korea and Japan. In addition the tournament will be the last to involve 32 teams, with an increase to 48 teams scheduled for the 2026 tournament. However, FIFA President Gianni Infantino indicated that this change may come earlier for the 2022 World Cup. The reigning World Cup champions are France.
Ricardo Terra Teixeira is the former president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF). He was in the office from January 16, 1989 to March 12, 2012. In July 2012 a Swiss prosecutor's report revealed that, during his tenure on FIFA's Executive Committee, he and his former father-in-law Joao Havelange took more than $41 million in bribes in connection with the award of World Cup marketing rights.
The FIFA Council is an institution of FIFA. It is the main decision-making body of the organization in the intervals of FIFA Congress. Its members are elected by the FIFA Congress. The council is a non-executive, supervisory and strategic body that sets the vision for FIFA and global football.
The Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup bid was a bid by Qatar to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. With a population of 2 million people, Qatar will be the first Arab state to host the World Cup. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, son of Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani the then Emir of Qatar, was the chairman of the bid committee. Qatar promoted their hosting of the tournament as representing the Arab World, and has drawn support from across the member states of the Arab League. They also positioned their bid as an opportunity to bridge the gap between the Arab World and the West.
Jérôme Valcke is a French football administrator, best known as the former Secretary General of FIFA. He was fired on 13 January 2016 as a result of allegations arising from the ongoing 2015 FIFA corruption case.
"FIFA's Dirty Secrets" is an episode of the BBC documentary series Panorama which was broadcast on 29 November 2010. The half-hour programme saw investigative journalist Andrew Jennings look into allegations of corruption with FIFA, the world's governing body of association football. Within the programme, he alleged that three members of FIFA's executive committee had been given bribes by International Sports and Leisure, a marketing partner of FIFA. The three men – Nicolas Leoz, Issa Hayatou, and Ricardo Teixeira – were reportedly involved with a sports marketing firm responsible for broadcasting rights and took money from them. Jennings further alleged that a fourth current official has been involved in ticket touting. Both of these matters had not been properly investigated by Sepp Blatter, the President of FIFA. It also made a series of claims about the bidding process for hosting the FIFA World Cup.
The 61st FIFA Congress was held between 31 May and 1 June 2011 at the Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland. FIFA is the governing body of world association football, and the congress is the annual meeting of FIFA's supreme legislative body. This is the eighth congress to be held in Zurich, and the first since 2007. After an opening ceremony and a reminder of FIFA events and activities in 2010, the second day witnessed decisions taken, and the unveiling of the 2010 financial results. The opening ceremony was presented by Melanie Winiger, and featured singer Grace Jones, hammered dulcimer player Nicolas Senn, and juggler Alan Šulc.
ChangeFIFA was a campaign organisation, established in 2010 with the stated aim of making FIFA, the ruling body of world soccer, more "fair and accountable".
The awarding of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar created a number of concerns and controversies regarding both Qatar's suitability as a host country and the fairness of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) bidding process. Criticism from a number of media outlets, sporting experts, and human rights groups highlighted problems such as Qatar's limited football history, the high expected cost, the local climate, and Qatar's human rights record. There have been numerous allegations of bribery between the Qatar bid committee and FIFA members and executives. Several FIFA members have since gone on record saying that the decision to award the tournament to Qatar was a "mistake" which includes Theo Zwanziger and ex-president Sepp Blatter.
The Garcia Report was an investigation produced by Michael J. Garcia into allegations of corruption in world association football. Garcia was appointed in July 2012 to investigate ethical breaches at the FIFA, football's world governing body. A month later he announced an investigation into persistent public accusations of bribery and corruption in the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup bids, which had been won in 2010 by Russia and Qatar respectively.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Joseph Blatter .|