SAO PAULO (AP) — Sepp Blatter told CONCACAF football leaders on Tuesday that his desire to be FIFA president “burns stronger than ever.”
“I am at your disposal,” to be a candidate in an election next May, Blatter told delegates from North and Central America and the Caribbean.
“My mission, our mission together is not yet finished,” the 78-year-old Swiss official said. “I’ll be honest with you it still burns, it still burns stronger than ever to go forwards.”
Blatter then met members of the 11-nation Oceania regional body in an adjoining conference room who also pledged their support.
“Rest assured, the 11 members in this room are the first in line,” said Oceania leader and FIFA vice president David Chung.
Blatter has been asking FIFA members, in a tour of six confederation meetings in Sao Paulo hotels, to support him at the end of their annual congress on Wednesday.
Blatter was due to address members of UEFA, his most hostile confederation, later Tuesday.
Europe’s UEFA is the one group preparing to oppose Blatter’s wish for a fifth term.
Blatter has dropped hints to all regional groups that they can expect bonus payments this year as a share of the $4 billion-plus World Cup revenues.
On Tuesday, Blatter told Oceania the payments would be “probably a little bit higher” than after the 2010 World Cup. Then, FIFA member federations received two bonuses totaling $550,000 for each country.
That amounted to more than $110 million with the six confederations sharing a further $30 million.
UEFA members were told by Blatter in 2011 that his current four-year term would be his last, leaving European football’s leader Michel Platini as the likely successor.
On Tuesday, Blatter told CONCACAF members that they were “an example for other confederations.”
“Some of them think they are better. They are no better,” Blatter said in an apparent jibe at Europe. “We all work together in unity.”
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