FIFA President Sepp Blatter has lost support among some heads of Caribbean soccer associations a day before his re-election bid, delegates from those countries said.
The shift by the Caribbean voters, who traditionally have backed Blatter, is due in part to the FIFA president not voicing support for their regional leader, Jeffrey Webb, after his arrest this week in a Zurich raid, presidents of the Grenada and Barbados soccer associations said Thursday.
“I came here without a doubt that I’m going to vote for Blatter,” said Randolph Harris, president of Barbados soccer. “The people of the Caribbean have realized with the latest scandal they have to think carefully about the future.”
He said his vote in Friday’s election, in which Blatter is seeking a fifth consecutive term as president, is now a secret matter.
Blatter is being challenged by Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein of Jordan. The Caribbean comprises 25 of the 209 votes.
FIFA, led by Blatter for 17 years, has characterized the arrest of Webb and six other FIFA officials in Zurich as a welcome development in rooting out corruption.
“Sepp Blatter made a mistake,” said Cheney Joseph, the president of Grenada soccer, who also declined to specify for whom he’d cast his vote. “The day before, he was hugging Jeff.”