Sepp Blatter won election to a 5th term as FIFA president in Zurich on Friday.
“We will bring this boat back,” the embattled leader vowed, “We will bring it back to shore.”
The victory came not without obstacles.
On Wednesday, an early morning raid resulted in several of Blatter’s close allies leaving a five-star Zurich hotel for the crowbar motel. The arrests, stemming from an FBI investigation into charges of bribery, resulted in some demanding that Blatter call off Friday’s vote. The U.S. Justice Department alleges FIFA officials took $150 million in bribes.
Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, receiving support from the Americas and Europe, earned 73 votes on Friday’s first ballot. Blatter garnered 133 votes. This put Blatter seven votes short of victory on the first ballot.
But before the second ballot could be held, the Jordanian prince bowed out of the balloting, which gives an equal vote to the United States and the United Arab Emirates, China and Chad, Barbados and Brazil.
The 79-year-old Swiss first won the office in 1998. Blatter, in his victory speech, called for reform—”evolution” rather than “revolution.” His detractors continue to call for his arrest.