FIFA Election: Sepp Blatter Wins 5th Term as President

The eighth FIFA president has been in office since 1998.

— -- Sepp Blatter was re-elected as the president of FIFA today amid allegations from U.S. and Swiss authorities of alleged corruption and bribery that have plagued soccer's international governing body.

Among the blocs that voted for Blatter’s challenger was the United States, which was one of the losing bidders for the 2022 World Cup. Blatter won when Ali conceded after the first round of voting failed to yield a two-thirds majority.

Blatter won the vote 133-73, which was short the required two-thirds majority. Before a necessary second vote for a simple majority was completed, Al-Hussein withdrew from the election.

In a statement after the vote, US Soccer President Sunil Gulati, said, "While we are disappointed in the result of the election, we will continue to push for meaningful change within FIFA. Our goal is for governance of FIFA that is responsible, accountable, transparent and focused solely on the best interests of the game. This is what FIFA needs and deserves, and what the people who love our game around the world demand. We congratulate President Blatter and it is our hope he will make reform his number one priority to ensure the integrity of the sport across the world."

Andrew Zimbalist, a sports economist from Smith College and author of “Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting The Olympics And The World Cup,” said today's re-election "reinforces the opinion that most soccer-savvy people already have, which is that Blatter has control over the organization, and the organization is corrupt."

"I am willing to accept the president of FIFA is responsible for everything but I would at least like to share that responsibility with everyone," Blatter said earlier in a presidential address on Friday in Zurich, Switzerland. "We cannot constantly supervise everyone in football ... you cannot ask everyone to behave ethically."

Zimbalist said he is skeptical that Blatter has no knowledge of FIFA's wrongdoing.

"I think that all trails lead back to Sepp Blatter," Zimbalist added. "I don't think there's any question about it."