Sepp Blatter: FIFA is 'more influential' than any nation in the world
FIFA is "more influential" than any religion or any country in the world, according to the governing body's president Sepp Blatter.
Speaking to Swiss paper Sonntags Zeitung, Blatter claimed that there are not a lot of things in the world with more influence than football, and so the game has to play a "socio-cultural role" with FIFA leading the way.
And Blatter also wants the governing body to use its power "to create more peace, equality and health in this world."
"We reach 1.6 billion people. FIFA is more influential than any country in the world or any religion through the positive emotions football triggers," Blatter said. "We move masses. And we want to make use of this to create more peace, equality and health in this world."
Blatter, meanwhile, reiterated that the 2022 World Cup will take place in Qatar, despite ongoing calls to take the tournament away from the Gulf state.
Last week, German Football League president Reinhard Rauball argued that recent discussions about the date of the tournament masked its real problem -- the treatment of migrant workers on World Cup construction sites.
"We chose Qatar. And now we go to Qatar," Blatter said. "There are no more problems for we have decided to stage the World Cup in November and December 2022. Except for the allegations about the labour conditions on the construction sites, all problems have been solved by now. It's unthinkable for me that we delay or cancel Qatar."
Blatter, 79, will stand for a fifth term as FIFA president and all signs suggest that he will be re-elected on May 29.
"The majority of the associations want it," he said when asked why he will remain in office for another term. "My father always said: you can rest in the graveyard."
Blatter cited his "deep religious faith" as one of two reasons for his energy despite his advancing years.
"I believe in God. And I believe in me. That's why I can discharge my tasks independent of my age," he said.
Blatter added that the other reason was his "new love" Linda Gabrielian.
"A wonderful woman on my side," he said. "She gives me a lot of strength."