Sepp Blatter has admitted that he could be replaced as FIFA president “in the near future.”
The 77-year-old made the comments before a speech to mark the opening of a CONCACAF sport summit being held in the Caribbean.
The soundbite was made when Blatter was introduced incorrectly to an audience of regional political leaders and confederation delegates as “FIFA’s vice-president.”
Stepping to the lectern, Blatter informed the local media officer of his mistake by saying, “I think you’re a prophet.”
“[There may be] a new FIFA president in the near future,” Blatter said, “and this president could be Jeffrey Webb.”
Webb is the Cayman Islands native who was elected president of CONCACAF in May 2012 following the bitter departures of former president Jack Warner and general secretary Chuck Blazer.
Webb has yet to indicate his desire to run for FIFA president in the May 2015 elections but Blatter’s words show that he prefers the 49-year-old to other possible candidates, namely UEFA president Michel Platini. Up until now, the former French international has been considered by most to be Blatter’s most likely successor.
Blatter, who has led the Zurich-based governing body since 1998, told UEFA delegates in 2011 this would be his final term in office but has recently provided strong indications that he may seek to continue his tenure.
With his comments regarding Webb, Blatter’s future as FIFA president once again seems as if it may be winding down. The 77-year-old was quick to note, however, that if that were to happen he wouldn’t be playing second fiddle to anyone.
“This would not mean I would be vice-president,” Blatter told those attending the conference. “Once you have been a horse you don’t go back to the stable.”