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Fifa prez Blatter refuses to budge
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Fifa prez Blatter refuses to budge - 20-February-2010, 07:11

Fifa prez Blatter refuses to budge

(19 February 2010 8:50 pm)

MUMBAI: Soccer's governing body Fifa president Sepp Blatter has vowed to resist a challenge to his leadership from Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohammad Bin Hammam.

Hammam is considering contesting the Fifa presidential election next year.

Bin Hammam told the AFC conference in Seoul this week that the time has come to put forward an Asian candidate. Hammam retained the AFC presidency last year following a contest with Bahrain's Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim *al-Khalifa, whose campaign was backed by the Fifa VP Chung Mong-joon.

Blatter, meanwhile, said that he expected multiple challengers when he seeks re-election in June 2011. But he vowed to push on with his own candidacy. "Now it is obvious there will be candidates for the Fifa presidency in 2011 -- a candidate from Asia. I have not changed my position. I am still here, and I hope to still be here in 2011. I have not now finished my mission, and if the Congress will decide so, I will be at their disposal."

Blatter has also been quoted in media reports saying that the 2010 World Cup in South Africa will be a beautiful World Cup. However his general secretary Jerome Valcke has warned that 800,000 tickets were still going begging.

He has expressed concern that high ticket prices are proving to be a turn off for fans. Fifa originally expected 500,000 visitors to South Africa during the tournament but was now revising that figure downward. The event will air on ESPN Star Sports in India.
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