Blatter says 'respect' Africa

2015-04-02 14:22
Sepp Blatter (AFP)

Zurich - FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Friday that world football must "respect" Africa, a bastion of support for the veteran sports powerbroker as he seeks a new term.

Blatter sent his message ahead of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) congress next week. His rivals for the presidency, who say FIFA's scandal-tainted image needs reform, will also be at the meeting and have been lobbying African leaders.

"When we travel to Cairo for the CAF congress next week, we must show African football all the great appreciation and respect it deserves," Blatter said in his column FIFA's The Weekly magazine.

The 79-year-old FIFA president said "the refreshing skills and technical finesse of the African teams are among the greatest attractions at the World Cup". Two African nations reached the World Cup last 16 in Brazil for the first time.

"Credit for this development must also go to CAF president Issa Hayatou," Blatter said.

"Using strategic wisdom and sure instinct in the world of sports politics, he has succeeded in keeping this vast continent together in all its linguistic, ethnic and cultural diversity."

Africa has long been a strong supporter of Blatter and has declared it will back him in the May 30 FIFA election.

His three rivals for the FIFA presidency - Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan, a FIFA vice president, Dutch federation chief Michael van Praag and former Portugal star Luis Figo - are expected to be in Cairo for the CAF congress.

CAF's 54 members makes it the biggest voting bloc on FIFA, just ahead of Europe's UEFA which opposes a new Blatter term.

The Swiss official has several times encouraged Africa to seek more World Cup places.

"The power of football is arguably even more significant in Africa than the rest of the world, because it symbolises a common denominator for all peoples, nations and tribes," Blatter said.

Read more on:    fifa  |  caf  |  sepp blatter  |  soccer


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Breaking News

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Who will emerge victorious in this season's Champions League?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.