Sepp Blatter courted controversy from the first time he was elected president of FIFA. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)
Joseph Blatter, known to everyone as Sepp, was born in a poor family 1936, in Visp in canton Valais.
He started working for FIFA in 1975 as director of development programmes. In 1981 he was appointed general secretary, becoming the loyal collaborator of the-then director Joao Havelange.
When Blatter was elected FIFA president in 1998, there followed allegations of vote buying. The claims were never investigated.
One of the achievements Blatter is credited with is making football less Eurocentric and more of a global game. During his tenure, local football federations throughout the globe were supported with development programmes and the first World Cups on African and Asian continents were organised.