Sepp Blatter Reveals That He Will Stand for 5th Term as FIFA President

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2014

MARRAKECH, MOROCCO - DECEMBER 21:  FIFA President Sepp Blatter looks on before the FIFA Club World Cup 3rd Place Match between Guangzhou Evergrande FC and Atletico Mineiro at the Marrakech Stadium on December 21, 2013 in Marrakech, Morocco. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Sepp Blatter's tenure as FIFA president could last at least another four years after the Swiss leader confirmed his desire to stand for his fifth term, per BBC Sport:

Blatter's decision to throw his name back into the hat goes against previous suggestions made by the controversial 77-year-old, noted by Owen Gibson of the Guardian:

Instead of stepping aside as planned, Blatter says he still has work to do before ending his tenure, revealed to Swiss newspaper Blick and reported via BBC Sport: "I'm a candidate again," said Blatter. "My mandate has ended but my mission is not finished."

Blatter was first elected FIFA president in 1998 amidst controversial circumstances. Shortly after his ascension to the most powerful seat in football, reports began to circulate suggesting $50,000 bribes were given to key figures in order to swing the vote.

COSTA DO SAUIPE, BAHIA - DECEMBER 05:  FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter attends the FIFA Executive Committee Meeting Press Conference during a media day ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Draw at Costa do Sauipe Resort on December 5, 2013 in Costa do Sauipe
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Further corruption was suggested by FIFA general secretary Michel Zen-Ruffinen in 2002, claims reinforced when former African Football Confederation vice-president Farah Addo claimed he was offered $100,000 for his vote.

Comparable problems appear throughout Blatter's years as president. While claims of financial mismanagement and corruption are never far away, he has made headlines around the world for airing a string of narrow-minded opinions.

Perhaps most famously, he suggested female footballers should wear "tighter" shorts in order to attract a greater male audience, posted by BBC Sport in 2004:

Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball. They could, for example, have tighter shorts. Female players are pretty, if you excuse me for saying so, and they already have some different rules to men - such as playing with a lighter ball. 

That decision was taken to create a more female aesthetic, so why not do it in fashion?

FORTALEZA, BRAZIL - JUNE 27:  FIFA President Sepp Blatter waves from the stands prior to the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Semi Final match between Spain and Italy at Castelao on June 27, 2013 in Fortaleza, Brazil.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Ima
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Blatter also suggested homosexuals "should refrain from any sexual activities" after awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

One of the main changes Blatter has made since the last election is the acceptance of goal-line technology. This was long overdue, and it originally opposed by the ageing boss, but it has been successfully deployed in the Premier League this campaign.

Blatter's election rivals are yet to be announced. While BBC Sport suggest vice-president Jeffrey Webb and former deputy general secretary Jerome Champagne could have been in the running, both have said they will not oppose Blatter. The Sun noted his lack of competition:

Sixteen years is already a long time for one man to instill his beliefs into football. Blatter could potentially make it two decades at the top if he confirms a quintet of election wins, much to the dismay of many. During this era of social media interaction, it's surprising to see a younger candidate hasn't utilised the means of instant communication to build a following.

The current leader is said to have the backing of "African, Asian and both American confederations," confirming he will retain his position, per Sky Sports. This is likely to irk many football fans, who have no say in selecting the FIFA president. 

Blatter can be expected to keep mixing things up if he continues. The Swiss chief has proven himself unafraid to expand football's reach, highlighted by the Qatar World Cup, and will likely continue this ethos heading into his next election.

As usual, expect hiccups along the way.