Factbox: Sepp Blatter, outgoing FIFA president

Reuters , Tuesday 2 Jun 2015

Factbox on Sepp Blatter who said on Tuesday he was quitting as president of FIFA, four days after being re-elected for a fifth term of office, with soccer's ruling body engulfed in a corruption scandal

Born on March 10, 1936 in the Swiss town of Visp.

Early career

Graduated from the Sion and St Maurice colleges in Switzerland and then secured a Bachelor of Business Administration and Economics degree from the Faculty of Law at Lausanne University.

Was an active footballer from 1948-1971, playing in Swiss amateur leagues. He was a member of the board of Neuchatel Xamax soccer club from 1970-1975.

Blatter began his professional career as Head of Public Relations of the Valaisan Tourist Board in Switzerland and in 1964 became General Secretary of the Swiss Ice Hockey Federation.

As Director of Sports Timing and Public Relations at watch and timings firm Longines, he was involved in the organization of the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games, getting his first taste of the international sports scene.


Became FIFA secretary general in 1981 and, after 17 years serving under Joao Havelange, replaced the Brazilian as president in 1998.

Faced trouble in 2002 when FIFA's then secretary general Michel Zen-Ruffinen said Blatter's 1998 election victory was based on bribery and corruption and that FIFA was being financially mismanaged at the highest levels. Blatter denied the allegations.

Beat Issa Hayatou of Cameroon, president of the Asian confederation, in the 2002 presidential election before being returned unopposed in 2007.

In 2004 Blatter attracted scorn from the women's game when he suggested women players should wear tighter shorts.

Won a fourth term in 2011 when challenger Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar was barred from FIFA on bribery charges.

Blatter has survived a series of scandals during his term in office including widespread accusations that Qatar bought the right to stage the 2022 World Cup. Qatar have always denied any wrongdoing.

Faced FIFA's ethics committee in 2011 in the wake of the bribery scandal that led to Bin Hammam's life ban. Blatter was never accused of being involved in the bribery, but there were allegations he know of its existence and did not act. All charges against him were dismissed.

2015 Election

In 2011 Blatter said he would retire four years later, but instead sought a fifth term of office and won the election on May 29, 2015 after his only rival Prince Ali bin Al Hussein withdrew following a first round of voting where the Swiss was clearly in the lead.

Despite widespread calls for Blatter's resignation after what was described as the worst day in FIFA's history, when seven serving officials were arrested on bribery charges two days before the 2015 election, he told delegates: "Soccer needs a strong and experienced leader. One that knows all the ins and outs and can work with our partners".

Overcoming opposition from European soccer's governing body UEFA, who threatened at one point to boycott the Congress, he was duly elected for another four years.

Blatter said on Tuesday at a hastily-arranged news conference that he would resign as president, six days after the FBI raided a hotel in Zurich and arrested several FIFA officials.

"FIFA has been my life ... what counts most for me is FIFA and soccer around the world," he said. "An extraordinary Congress is to be called to elect my successor as soon as possible."

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