FIFA President Sepp Blatter, embroiled in a corruption scandal that landed numerous associates in handcuffs this week, fell short of the necessary two-thirds total on the first ballot at today’s elections in Zurich.
Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, receiving support from the Americas and Europe received 73 votes. Blatter garnered 133 votes. Blatter needed seven more ballots to win re-election. The 79-year-old Swiss first won the office in 1998.
The voting for FIFA president moves to a second ballot.
More than 200 countries possess a vote. Populous and soccer-popular Brazil enjoys the same voting power as the Bahamas.
A victory, a fait accompli before Wednesday’s dramatic raids, may prove pyrrhic for Blatter. The FBI may look to lean on Blatter’s associates to indict the soccer honcho. European and South American nations, though possessing a small minority of votes, generate the greatest interest in the World Cup. Their disgust with Blatter may also present repercussions.