Amid accusations of corruption at FIFA, Sepp Blatter, 79, was elected for a fifth term as president of soccer’s international governing body, beating out Prince Ali bin al-Hussein. Still, Greg Dyke, chairman of the Football Association (FA) in England, indicated he doesn’t believe Blatter will last more than two years into his four-year presidency as U.S. authorities collect evidence focused on the scandal-ridden organization.
“To quote the [U.S.] attorney general, ‘This is the beginning of the process, not the end,’” Dyke said in an interview with Sky Sports. “I think there is an awful lot more of this to play out. The idea Blatter could reform FIFA is suspect. I’d be very surprised if he was still in this job in two years’ time.”
Last week, Swiss police arrested six FIFA executives in Zurich over allegations made by the U.S. Justice Department in connection with a 47-count indictment accusing 14 defendants of money laundering, racketeering and wire fraud. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the investigation spanned “at least two generations of soccer officials” who “abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks.” Court documents estimate the associated bribes and illegal funds amount to more than $150 million.
While several FIFA executives were accused, Blatter himself was not identified as one of the 14 defendants. Regardless of whether Blatter faces any accusations individually in the future, however, Dyke said he does not think he can last in his position as FIFA goes through more scrutiny. “The events of this week are so dramatic that I cannot see FIFA reforming itself under Blatter,” Dyke said. “He’s had 16 years to reform it, and he hasn’t done it.”
Still, Blatter has suggested he intends to finish out his term. “For the next four years, I will be in command of this boat called FIFA, and we will bring it back ashore,” he said at a press conference after his electoral victory Friday. “We will bring it back to the beach.”