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Mixed reaction to Blatter victory

Swiss press reports were split on the Blatter victory


The Swiss press has greeted FIFA president Sepp Blatter's re-election as an emphatic win that could have uncertain consequences for the troubled world football body.

Press reports focused on what the resounding victory would mean for Blatter's critics, including FIFA's number two, Michel Zen-Ruffinen.

Zurich's "NZZ" expressed a hope that Blatter - who has been challenged by the organisation's secretary general - would now transform into "a true president" of stature.

The mass-market "Blick" led its Thursday edition with the words: "Blatter's triumph: On Friday I will throw Zen-Ruffininen out!".

The paper's editorial said Blatter had outplayed all his opponents in a way that would not only strengthen the game of football, but would make Blatter stronger.

The "Tages Anzeiger" echoed the sentiment, saying Zen-Ruffinen "must go" in the wake of an "intolerable" campaign against the FIFA boss.

By contrast, the Swiss French-language paper, "Le Temps", condemned Blatter for leading an "anachronistic regime" that was opposed to democracy and transparency.

"The system he has built up, has given football...a detestable image of a world bound up by its own arrogance, eaten up by money and made sick by a leader who is only answerable to himself," the paper commented.

The paper's closest competitor, the "Tribune De Genève", lauded Blatter as the "Pope" of world football.

International press

The International Herald Tribune described Blatter's 139 to 56 vote win as "overwhelming", despite months of accusations about financial mismanagement.

In Britain, The Guardian portrayed the result as "a crushing victory", which had seen Blatter triumph over widespread criticism of his leadership style and problems with FIFA's finances.

The Times of London said Blatter's "brazen" re-election had tightened his grip on the game.

However, critics of Blatter were also to be heard. The Independent newspaper reported the result in its Thursday edition with the headline: "Blatter victory may split game", quoting the English Football Association condemning the re-election.


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