Publicity shy: two words that cannot be used to describe Sepp Blatter, who has announced he will quit as president of world football’s governing body FIFA.
Blatter led FIFA for 17 years and in that time never missed an opportunity to pose for the camera, whether it was hobnobbing with heads of state, donning local garb or teaching a nun how to kick a ball.
Whoever follows him – an election to choose a new president will probably not take place before December – will struggle to generate as many memorable images as the man described not only as corrupt and despotic but also charismatic and entertaining.
Not that press photographers should despair immediately: Blatter will remain in his position until a successor is chosen. Among the potential candidates to lead FIFA is European football federation chief Michel Platini, who said Blatter had made “a difficult decision, a brave decision, and the right decision”.
Another named being bandied about is Switzerland’s Domenico Scala, independent chairman of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee.
Former Brazil international Zico did not rule out a bid, and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro suggested Argentine legend Diego Maradona could be the next FIFA chief. Sports photographers will be crossing their fingers for Maradona!
(Text: Thomas Stephens)