Blatter Meets With Regional Soccer Chiefs Ahead of Election

Should Sponsors Take Stronger Stance Over FIFA Scandal?
  • FIFA president holds talks with six confederation chiefs
  • Meeting is to discuss ‘current situation,'' FIFA Says
FIFA president Sepp Blatter held an emergency meeting with the heads of six regional soccer confederations today as the arrest of nine soccer officials plunged a vote to re-elect him into confusion.

Europe’s largest soccer federation UEFA last night called for postponing tomorrow’s vote by 209 members. European delegates have 53 votes, so even if they all boycotted, FIFA would have more than a quorum of 139 -- two-thirds of the membership -- needed for the vote to go ahead.  

Blatter’s meeting with regional heads was about the “current situation,” FIFA spokesman Delia Fischer said in an e-mail. The only other candidate in the presidential election is Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, who was seen leaving a hotel in Zurich where UEFA officials were holding a separate meeting today.  

Swiss police entered the luxury Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich yesterday and arrested seven FIFA officials. Two former soccer executives were also charged in New York, as were four sports marketing officials.

Two current FIFA vice presidents were among 14 people indicted Wednesday by U.S. prosecutors investigating what they called “rampant” corruption in the sport that began in 1991. Blatter, 79, is running for a fifth term, and he wasn’t charged in yesterday’s announcement. Swiss authorities searched the organization’s headquarters in Zurich.

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