In a rambling acceptance speech, Blatter said he wanted to change the confederation representation on the executive committee and added that more women needed to be on the committee. Time and again in his acceptance speech and closing Congress remarks, he talked about helping his "Ocean 11," the 11-member Oceania confederation.
Despite a scandal-ridden
history dating back to charges of improprieties with his first election in 1998 and the
indictments on Wednesday of 14 FIFA officials and sports executives on charges related to kickback schemes totaling more than $150 million, Blatter had been expected to win easily, based on
support from traditional power bases in Asia and Africa, which account for almost half of FIFA's 209 members.
FIFA's 209 Members:
54 CAF (Africa)
53 UEFA (Europe)
46 AFC (Asia)
35 Concacaf (North, Central America & Caribbean)
10 Conmebol (South America)
Kuwait's Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, an international sports power broker and new addition to FIFA’s executive committee, came out in support of the 79-year-old Blatter, for whom he is now considered a possible successor following the arrest of Blatter protege Jeffrey Webb, the president of Concacaf.
"FIFA should have a leader with a lot of experience," Sheikh Ahmad, president of the Olympic Council of Asia, told Reuters. "Not only that, but someone who has shown a strong commitment to the AFC over many years and Blatter has done that."
While Blatter's support from Asia was overwhelming -- Prince Ali's support was believed to limited to members of the West Asian Football Federation that he founded -- Africa was voting as a bloc for Blatter.
Blatter's Five Elections:
1998 Blatter 111 Johansson 80
2002 Blatter 139 Hayatou 56
2007 Blatter unopposed
2011 Blatter 186 uncast votes 17
2015 Blatter 133 Prince Ali 73
The biggest opposition to Blatter came not for the first time from UEFA, where as many as 46 of its 53 members were supporting Prince Ali, according to its president, Michel Platini. Conmebol, at the center of the kickback scandal, withdrew its support for Blatter. Concacaf was believed to be split.
Following Blatter's reelection, Gulati issued the following statement:
"While we are disappointed in the result of the election, we will continue to push for meaningful change within FIFA. Our goal is for governance of FIFA that is responsible, accountable, transparent and focused solely on the best interests of the game. This is what FIFA needs and deserves, and what the people who love our game around the world demand. We congratulate President Blatter and it is our hope he will make reform his number one priority to ensure the integrity of the sport across the world."