Scandal unlikely to prevent another crushing Blatter victory in secret ballot
Published 29/05/2015 | 02:30
Who is standing against Sepp Blatter for the Fifa presidency?
Blatter will face his first contested election for 13 years after standing unopposed since 2002. His opponent is one of his eight vice-presidents, Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein, the third son of the late King Hussein of Jordan. The Sandhurst-educated father of two is less than half Blatter's age and, at 39, is the youngest member of Fifa's ruling executive committee, which he joined in 2011. He will lose his seat on the exco unless he beats Blatter.
How does the election work?
The four-yearly election takes place at the end of Fifa's annual congress in Zurich today. It is a secret ballot which can last several rounds depending on the number of candidates standing. If any candidate secures two-thirds of eligible votes in the first round, he or she is duly elected. Otherwise, a second round ensues, in which only a simple majority is needed for victory. Candidates with the fewest votes are eliminated from round two onwards.
Who is entitled to vote?
All 209 of its member associations are entitled to vote, with each vote counting equally. The 209 voters belong to one of six continental confederations: Europe has 53 votes, Africa 54, Asia 46, South America 10, North and Central America 35 and Oceania 11.
Who will win?
Blatter was the overwhelming favourite before the police raids and criminal charges that left Fifa reeling on Wednesday and had been expected to sweep to victory in the first round. Prince Ali has been telling his supporters that this week's dramatic events have changed all that and that he can deliver a narrow win. But history tells us that such scandals have failed to loosen Blatter's grip on his core vote outside Europe and a crushing victory would come as no surprise.
What happens next?
Presuming Blatter does win, it means up to four more years of the Swiss as the most powerful man in football. Uefa has refused to rule out boycotting the World Cup and could even try to table a vote of no confidence in Blatter if he wins by a narrow margin. But the odds favour the 79-year-old seeing off any further challenge to his supremacy. (© Daily Telegraph, London)