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Jun 1, 2011

Blatter re-elected as FIFA president

FIFA has voted Sepp Blatter to remain as president for a fourth term after he ran unopposed on Wednesday and won 186 of the 203 votes.

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The voting FIFA member nations had the option of either choosing Blatter, or abstaining, after Mohamed bin Hammam pulled out of the presidential race amid the allegations of bribery and corruption that have rocked world football's governing body.

Blatter, who has been at the helm for 13 years, avoided having to delay the election after the FIFA Congress voted against postponing it by a margin of 172 votes to 17, with 17 abstaining.

In his victory speech, Blatter told the FIFA Congress in Zurich: ''I thank you for your trust and confidence from the bottom of my heart and together we will have four more years - provided the Lord gives me the life, the energy and the strength to continue on our path.

''I'm happy today we were once again able to bring solidarity and unity into FIFA. We shall move forward, we will put FIFA's ship back on the right course in clear, transparent waters. We need some time, we cannot do it overnight, but we will do it.

''I am deeply moved, I am honoured and I thank you. This is a new challenge and I accept it.''

England sports minister Hugh Robertson said: ''I am disappointed that the election happened but now the focus must be on where FIFA goes from here. It's crucial that Sepp Blatter delivers on the reform that has been promised.

''The organisation's reputation is at an all-time low and it must become much more transparent and accountable for the good of the game.

''Blatter says that the 'football family' will get FIFA's house in order and I hope the FA will play a key part in that. I will continue to press for change through my working relationship with the FA and European sports ministers.''

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