Seeking to extend his position further since he appointed FIFA president in June 1998, Sepp Blatter is preparing re-election as the leader of soccer’s international governmental body.
But as much as Blatter wants to remain at the helm, much criticism has been directed at the 79-year-old over his tenure. The most significant recent issue comes from the World Cup bidding, as many believing that he perhaps encouraged improper bidding–taking brides in other words–for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar respectively.
FIFA appointed former US attorney Michael Garcia in July 2012, and it was his job to investigate this matter. But in the end, FIFA reigned supreme and decided against releasing his full report, prompting the vexed lawyer to resign.
More controversy with Blatter resumed when ESPN reported in a documentary that Blatter didn’t travel to the United States for several years because he was avoiding FBI investigation.
The investigation primarily concerns ex-Fifa executive committee members, American Chuck Blazer and Trinidadian Jack Warner, and Blatter used this to defend himself.
“I know, and this everybody knows, that in the U.S. there is an investigation against former people [who] have been in my government,” Blatter said, “but it is nothing against me.”
He then noted that his journey to the United States would occur next year, in June, for the 2016 Copa America Centenario.
“I will be there if elected,” said Blatter, who is in the final weeks of his re-election campaign before the vote on May 29. “Even if not elected, they will invite me I am sure.”
Did Blatter know about all of the corruption that occurred within FIFA during his tenure? Likely not. But being the captain of soccer in a sense, he definitely knew–at least–of certain illegal workings during his administration.