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FOOTBALL
Blatter rounds on 'jealous' critics
FIFA president uses AFC Congress to defend World Cup choices as Prince Ali of Jordan wins seat on Executive Committee.
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2011 13:07 GMT
Blatter was boosted in his presidency by the election of Prince Ali of Jordan as a vice-president [Reuters]

FIFA president Sepp Blatter brushed aside what he called the "envy and jealousy" of critics after a typically roller-coaster few weeks of controversy on the eve of the Asian Cup.

It came as Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan was voted onto the governing body's Executive Committee after scoring a stunning victory over the long-serving incumbent Chung Mong-joon at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Congress on Thursday.

FROM THE BLOGS
First Asia, then the world
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Qatari Mohamed Bin Hammam was also re-elected as president of the AFC by acclamation of the Congress in Doha, Qatar, having been the only candidate after eight years in the post.

Blatter, who is standing for a fourth term as president in May, has been under pressure following the simultaneous voting for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups – won by Russia and Qatar respectively – and the allegations of corruption that dogged the process.

He has also been criticised by FIFA colleagues and outsiders alike for the way he has tried to introduce a new anti-corruption committee.

But the 74-year-old Swiss, addressing the 46-nation AFC Congress a day before hosts Qatar kick off their Asian Cup challenge against Uzbekistan, said FIFA was still in good shape despite two executive committee members being suspended and other senior officials suspended and fined amid allegations of bribery and corruption last year.

'Milestones'

"In 2010 we had some milestones in the history of football, starting with the first World Cup on the African continent, and what a success (that was)," he said in his address.

"All these successes have created a lot of envy and jealousy in our world because you cannot satisfy everybody. The success story of FIFA can continue because we are in a comfortable situation"

Sepp Blatter, FIFA president

"Then we had the women's Under-17 World Cup which had its first Asian champions – South Korea – and then the decision of FIFA's executive committee to go to new destinations in 2018 and 2022.

"All these successes have created a lot of envy and jealousy in our world because you cannot satisfy everybody.

"The success story of FIFA can continue because we are in a comfortable situation, despite the criticism given to FIFA.

"We have the power and the instruments to go against any attacks that are made.

"In 2011 we will have competitions, but there is something else at stake – the elections in all the confederations.

"Football is still a game and you learn to win, but you must also learn to lose, so I ask you to be fair and to conduct them in a democratic way."

Blatter was given an immediate boost when his preferred candidate Prince Ali was voted on to the executive committee at the expense of South Korean Chung, one of his long-term critics.

Ali, 35, the son of Jordan's late King Hussein and Queen Alia, will become the youngest member of the ExCo after beating Chung, who has sat on the board since 1994, by 25 votes to 20 in a fight for Asia's vice-presidential seat on the committee.

Prince Ali, who has been head of the Jordanian FA since he was 25, becomes the third member of the Jordanian Royal family to occupy a seat on a major sporting governing body.

His elder brother Faisal and sister Haya are both members of the International Olympic Committee while Haya is also president of the International Equestrian Federation.

Source:
Reuters
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