Blatter will not stand after 2015

PARIS - FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Tuesday he would stand down in 2015 if he is re-elected for a fourth term in June.

"You know I aspire to another four years. These will be the last four years for which I stand as candidate," he said in a speech to the UEFA Congress.

Blatter faces a challenge from Mohamed Bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) at the FIFA Congress in Zurich on June 1.

The 75-year-old Swiss, formerly FIFA's secretary general, has held his post since beating then UEFA president Lennart Johansson to the vote in 1998.

Both Blatter and his Qatari opponent are in Paris as guests of UEFA.

"We have the task of bringing to an end the adventure we started in Marrakech in 2005," said Blatter referring to that year's FIFA Congress, the first to be held in Africa, but without enlarging.

Blatter underlined the challenges facing FIFA, mentioning match-fixing, illegal betting and the erosion of respect for match officials.

He applauded UEFA's experiment with extra assistant referees, seen as an alternative to goalline technology.

"Football is beset by little evils throughout the world, it's just a game, but in games one tends to cheat," he said.

"There are forces wanting to grab the game, to imprison the game, to keep it captive, to use means that have nothing to do with respect.

"At the FIFA Congress we will have zero tolerance on the pitch, more education, more respect towards the referees and zero tolerance beyond the pitch.

"In Europe, there is a revolutionary vision of referees. Suddenly we have additional assistant refs, five or even six."


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