Liberia Endorses Blatter’s Fifth Term Bid

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Liberia Football Association (LFA) President Musa Bility has publically endorsed the fifth term bid of FIFA President Sepp Blatter and vowed to front his campaign in Africa, making the West African country to be the first ever to make such public acceptance.

Bility said the decision to back Blatter in the pending FIFA elections in June 2015 was taken by the LFA’s executive committee.

He made the pronouncement on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 during his regular monthly interview with the press.

The Liberia’s football boss said “Blatter is the best man for FIFA in development of the game and the older he gets the wiser he becomes.”

Bility pledge his “total and unreserved support” to Sepp Blatter for his “continuous involvement in the development of football in world and his personal commitment to the fight against racism,” and also expressed his gratitude to CAF president Issa Hayatou for the promotion and development of football on the continent.

He claimed to be the “Senior Policy Advisor to Africa of the Blatter’s Reelection Campaign Team.”

When quizzed if it is formal of being the senior policy advisor to Africa of the Blatter’s Reelection Campaign Team, he said: “I am considering myself for that position—am volunteering….(he laughs).”

Liberia’s public support to Blatter come as a surprise to many football pundits, because four years ago, Liberia was the only African country to openly opposed Blatter but endorsed Qatar’s Mohamed Bin Hammam.

Bility’s hate of Blatter led to him criticizing Confederation of African Football (CAF) executive committee to support Blatter.

Bility argued that CAF does not have votes of its won to pledge the continent support to Blatter.

“Blatter has had his reasonable share of power at Fifa, having served for 17 years as secretary general and then president since June 1998,” Bility argued.

Few days to the June 1’s elections, Bility’s man, Mohamed Bin Hammam was ban for contesting the elections for bribery and Blatter was elected unopposed for the four term.

Few months later, Liberia was suspended for six months by CAF for exposing confidential documents at the Court of Arbitration of Sports (CAS) and later unmercifully lost the elections of becoming an executive committee member of CAF.

Meanwhile,  Sepp Blatter on  last week Wednesday declared his intention to run for a fifth term as FIFA’s president, declaring that “my mission is not finished” in a speech to a congress of soccer’s top officials.

Blatter has put off an official announcement of his candidacy for another four-year term until after the World Cup, but he sent his strongest signal yet that he would run when he told the FIFA Congress in São Paulo “I can tell you I am ready to accompany you in the future.”

Several top officials in UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, openly called on Blatter on Tuesday to decline to run in next year’s election.

They pointed out that in 2011, when he was elected unanimously to a fourth term in a vote later found to have been rife with vote-buying and influence-peddling, he had promised to retire by 2015.

The head of the Dutch federation, Michael van Praag, said he told Blatter directly that he should pay the price for FIFA’s battered image.

“I said at the microphone, ‘I like you a lot, there is nothing personal here, but the reputation of FIFA is today inextricably linked to corruption,’ ” van Praag said. “FIFA has a president. You are responsible; you should not stand again.”

On Wednesday, a former Football Association official, Lord Triesman, said that Blatter’s FIFA “behaves like a mafia family.”

Blatter may have the upper hand, though. UEFA appears to be alone among FIFA’s six confederations in its opposition to another term. That could explain why Blatter also used Tuesday’s speech to talk about a few of his favorite topics, like the role soccer can play in developing countries and its role in the fight against racism.

Blatter also told the assembled delegates Wednesday that he dreamed of soccer games played in outer space.

“We wonder one day if our game is played on other planets,” Blatter said. “Why not? Then we will have not only a World Cup; we will have interplanetary competitions.”

However, it has been reported member associations have voted down attempts to consider age and term limits for its executives, in a move that could allow Sepp Blatter to continue as president indefinitely.

The referendum required a simple majority to take the proposals forward to next year’s Fifa congress, where they would have needed the backing of 75% of members to be adopted.

Both were rejected out of hand, meaning the 78-year-old – preparing to stand in 2015 for another term despite earlier promising this would be his last – could theoretically carry on forever. The introduction of age or term limits was one of seven outstanding reforms listed by the former chairman of Fifa’s independent governance committee, Mark Pieth, when it was disbanded.


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