Sepp Blatter, the Swiss president of football's world governing body, FIFA, says he will run for a second term of office.This content was published on January 9, 2002 - 20:36
The 65-year-old announced his decision at a trade show for soccer professionals in Cannes, France.
He said he had already informed FIFA's 204 national associations of his candidature, and that he had received support from more than 100 of them.
"I take this as an important vote of confidence, for which I am hugely grateful in every way," he said at a news conference.
Blatter took over world soccer's top job in 1998. FIFA will elect a president in Seoul, South Korea, at its biennial Ordinary Congress just before the start of the World Cup. The election is held every four years, in the same year as the World Cup.
The move marks a bold step for Blatter who came under fire last year over the collapse of FIFA's marketing partner, ISMM/ISL. The Swiss sports marketing firm - FIFA's marketing partner for 20 years - went bankrupt in May after registering losses of more than SFr600 million ($360 million) in 2000.
Blatter revealed that the collapse of the Zug-based company would cost FIFA around SFr50 million.
In June last year, the European football association, UEFA, which lost SFr22.5 million when ISMM-ISL went bust, criticised Blatter for not moving fast enough to avert the disaster.
UEFA put forward a list of 25 questions regarding the affair and indicated that Blatter could be forced to resign if he did not answer them satisfactorily.
Blatter repeatedly stated that FIFA officials could not be held responsible for the knock-on effects of ISMM-ISL's bankruptcy.
However it was all smiles again for Blatter at FIFA's congress in Buenos Aires in July when he received a standing ovation from delegates after assuring them that the organisation's finances were on a firm footing.
swissinfo with agencies
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