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FIFA voted Sepp Blatter into a fourth term as president this afternoon despite mounting criticism across the world about the way the federation is run.
The 208 FIFA member associations voted 186 in his favour of his re-election, but they had little other option with the 75-year-old running unopposed following the suspension of his only rival earlier this week.
The vote took place at the annual conference and came despite calls from the English FA to postpone it amid allegations of corruption and bribery throughout the organisation.
The move by David Bernstein was dismissed earlier in the day 172 votes to 17.
Blatter said: ‘I thank you for your vote and your confidence from the bottom of my heart. Together we will have four years, provided the Lord gives me life, the energy and force to continue on our path and to do our job.
‘I am happy that we were able to bring solidarity once again, this unity that allows us, with the sufficient courage, to have a positive stand point to move forward.
‘We will put FIFA’s ship back on the right course in clear, transparent waters. We will need time but we shall do it. Our pyramid is in tact, it is strong.
The foundations are solid and just as solid as our game, this passionate game throughout the world.
‘I would simply like to tell you I am deeply moved, honoured and I thank you, but at the same time this is a new challenge and I accept it. Together we shall do it.
‘In the future lets go together. Something marvellous has happened in this unity. Give us time, courage and lots of energy, trust and confidence.’
Bernstein had said the recent scandals, which have culminated in two of FIFA’s most senior figures being suspended on bribery charges, had led to a situation where the election should be re-opened to new candidates.
‘We are faced with an unsatisfactory situation. We are subject to universal criticism from governments, sponsors, media and the wider world,’ he said. ‘With this background the election has turned into one-horse race.
‘This should be avoided both for the sake of FIFA and the president itself. A coronation without an opponent provides a flawed mandate.’
Blatter later suggested that a committee would be set up to examine FIFA’s corporate governance and recommend changes.
He said he would learn from the ‘public anger’ and would lead FIFA out of their current predicament.
He said: ‘We have been hit and I personally have been slapped. We have made mistakes and we will learn from this. I can say to a certain extent that this is a good warning, not just to look into our problems and I am willing to face the public anger in order to serve football.
‘I am the captain weathering the storm, this is a difficult period for FIFA and I admit that readily. Not only is the pyramid shaking but our ship has drawn some water. We must do something because I do not want ever again that we face this undignified situation.’
‘I am very sad and disappointed over what has happened in the last days,’ the statement said. ‘I will never accept how my name and my reputation have been damaged. I will fight for my rights.
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