12 Jun 2014

FIFA boss to defy opposition and run again

7:57 am on 12 June 2014

The embattled FIFA leader Sepp Blatter is expected to defy opposition from European football chiefs and declare his candidacy for a new term at the football governing body's congress today.

Controversy surrounding the 78-year-old Swiss official and accusations of corruption against Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid have tainted the buildup to the start of the Brazil World Cup in Sao Paulo tomorrow.

Blatter has been criticised for saying that corruption allegations against Qatar -- led by the British media -- was racism.

Several top European football officials have called on Blatter to stand down when his term ends next year.

Blatter, who acceded to the top job in 1998, is likely to get the standing acclamation from all the confederations bar UEFA when he announces his candidacy however.

UEFA president Michel Platini has been touted as a possible rival to Blatter when the FIFA vote is held in May next year.

Platini has said he will only decide his candidacy in September.

Blatter's rule has never seen a controversy like the accusations that Qatar paid for votes when FIFA chose the Gulf country to host the 2022 World Cup.

Qatar has strongly denied involvement in wrongdoing.

But allegations made in British newspaper The Sunday Times are expected to be raised at the FIFA congress.

Qatar beat the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea to the 2022 tournament, despite a FIFA technical report which warned the searing temperatures during June and July in Qatar posed a health risk.