Sepp Blatter: Fifa president hints at increased term

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has given his strongest hint yet that he plans to stay on in the role past 2015 and finish "his mission".

The 77-year-old Swiss, head of the world governing body since 1998, also wants to increase the term for a president from four years to eight.

Analysis

"It's clear Sepp Blatter's attention has now turned from attempting to reform Fifa's governance to that of building a legacy from his remaining time in office.

"His current mandate expires in 2015 and the question is whether he will stand again, despite saying in 2011 that he would move aside after serving a fourth term.

"So Blatter's support for an initial eight-year term - to be followed by an additional four years if re-elected - is significant. It mirrors the International Olympic Committee's system.

"Blatter has stated clearly he would like to eventually see someone like-minded succeed him. That person could be Fifa vice-president Jeffrey Webb. He told me that, while he won't stand for election in 2015, he is definitely interested in higher office in future years.

"Uefa president Michel Platini, who is widely considered Blatter's only credible challenger, must now decide whether to go for the top job in two years' time. It may well be now or never."

Blatter had remarked in 2011 that this would be his last term in office.

But he told the BBC : "I'm now 38 years in Fifa and I have this mission and I want to fulfil my mission."

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live sports news correspondent Richard Conway, Blatter added: "I feel young enough to be in this office and to make this office a success.

"It keeps you young also if you've got a mission - and I've got a mission."

Asked if he would stand again in 2015, he said: "My intention is to finish this mandate. We are just starting the second half of the mandate. So ask me this question next year."

Blatter, the only candidate to contest the 2011 election, has also suggested that presidential terms could be increased to an initial term of eight years with potential for a four-year extension.

"This is a good approach and I would support it," he said.

Fifa vice president Jeffrey Webb could be the man to eventually succeed Blatter.

The 49-year-old from the Cayman Islands has said he would not run for election in 2015 but told the BBC he would like to hold the position in the future.

The president of Concacaf - the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football - is also head of Fifa's anti-discrimination taskforce.

What is the Rooney Rule?

  • Named after Dan Rooney, owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise and chairman of the NFL's diversity committee, the Rooney Rule was brought in a decade ago to ensure coaches from ethnic minorities were considered for leading positions in American football.

He has been watching developments in England closely, in particular the furore surrounding the Football Association commission set up to improve the fortunes of the national team.

The commission has been criticised for its lack of diversity - Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is the only black person on it - and Webb agreed that the FA needed to do more if it wanted to be regarded as truly representative.

He also said there is not enough diversity in the boardroom or among managers in English football.

"There needs to be some self-examination and there needs to be made a conscious effort to provide opportunity," said Webb.

He added that the FA should consider introducing a rule similar to American football's "Rooney Rule", which was brought in to ensure coaches from ethnic minorities were considered for managerial positions.

There are only four black managers at England's 92 Premier League and Football League clubs, despite about 30% of players being non-white.