|Give me one more chance: Blatter said he was hoping for support from 'the whole FIFA family' [Reuters]
FIFA president Sepp Blatter said he was "not finished yet" as he prepared for the announcement of a challenge to his position from the head of Asian football.
It is understood that Mohamed bin Hammam, the Qatari president of the Asian Football Confederation, will announce his candidacy when he "clarifies his position" over the FIFA presidency on Friday.
That announcement will be made at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, where Blatter staked his own claim to continue his 13-year rule on Thursday.
Blatter was in Kuala Lumpur to meet the head of the Malaysian Football Association (FAM) Sultan Ahmad Shah, concluding a short Asian tour as he seeks to canvas support ahead of the June 1 elections at the FIFA Congress in Zurich.
"I feel still full of energy and I've not yet finished my work in FIFA," Blatter, 75, told reporters.
"I'm now in my 13th year of presidency in FIFA, and the 36th year to work in FIFA, so I'm available to the congress."
He is the only candidate so far but widespread media reports that Bin Hammam will run have been backed up by Al Jazeera sources.
Blatter was not concerned.
"If there is competition there is competition," the Swiss, who has been in the role since 1998, said.
"I have support from different Asian associations, but I must have the support from whole family of FIFA."
In an interview with Al Jazeera in January, the Bin Hammam said it was time to "inject fresh blood" in FIFA and criticised Blatter''''s handling of speculation that the Qatar 2022 World Cup could be held in winter.
"Maybe now we got tired of always defending same opinions, same ideas, same things, so maybe we''''ve reached the stage that our president, who is supposed to defend our organisation, is defenceless - he cannot anymore do it," he said.
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies