UEFA does not have the courage to run against me - Blatter
Sepp Blatter says UEFA does not have the courage to nominate a candidate to run against him in the upcoming FIFA presidential elections.
Europe's governing body has been highly critical of the way Blatter – who has been FIFA president since 1998 – runs the world game and, following the controversy around the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, has suggested he should not put himself forward for a fifth term in office.
Former FIFA secretary Jerome Champagne, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan and former Newcastle United winger David Ginola are all expected to challenge Blatter in the elections, but UEFA has yet to confirm whether it will nominate a candidate to stand.
And Blatter does not expect UEFA president Michel Platini to make a decision before Thursday's deadline, saying the governing body lacks the nerve to back up its criticism with decisive action.
"It is impossible to please everyone," the 78-year-old told CNN. "I have been asked by the national associations to be our candidate again because nobody that is strong was in.
"They [UEFA] want to get rid of me. Then they should come [and challenge me].
"All this opposition is coming now it's unfortunate to say, it's coming from Nyon, from UEFA.
"They don't have the courage to come in. So let me go [on] - be respectful."
Blatter remains defiant that he can win another election and continue his work with FIFA.
He added: "I have to say I have not finished my mission because it's a mission to be in football.
"We have started in 2011 with the reform process. The reform process is not over. I would like to have these four years to finish it and to show that football is more than a game.
"Football is a team sport. Let's go together with the team.
"I invite the confederation of UEFA and especially the leaders of UEFA that are so bitterly attacking me: join! Join! Football is a unity. And we need this unity in this world.
"It's not my first battle for the presidency. I still have the conviction and I believe in myself and I believe in football."