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Blatter won fair victory — Russian sports minister

May 29, 2015, 21:45 UTC+3
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been reelected for a fifth term after his single opponent, Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, withdrew his candidacy from the second round of the voting
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Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko

© ITAR-TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

MOSCOW, May 29. /TASS/. The elections of the FIFA president were democratic and Sepp Blatter has won a fair victory, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, a member of the FIFA executive committee, said on Friday.

"The vote was democratic," Mutko told TASS. "Blatter's victory is fair. And he thanked everyone, those who voted for him and who voted against."

He said that the FIFA executive committee had admitted the necessity to carry out reforms.

"FIFA is a major organisation doing a great deal to develop football. But this does not mean that no changes are needed and no conclusions should be made," Mutko said.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been reelected for a fifth term after his single opponent, Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, withdrew his candidacy from the second round of the voting earlier on Friday.

Blatter, who has been at the held of the world's football ruling body since 1998, won 133 votes of FIFA's 209 member states in the first round, while 140 votes were required to secure victory, Prince Ali got 73 votes in the first round.

Mutko said Prince Ali's decision to withdraw from the elections was courageous as he saw no prospects to win.

The Russian Football Union (RFU) also congratulated Blatter on his victory.

"Blatter understands problems and challenges of the time and know the path football should follow in its development," RFU President Nikolai Tolstykh told TASS. "He is an experienced manager enjoying the support of most members of the global football community."

Blatter's re-election was marred this year by arrests of FIFA officials earlier in the week.

An unprecedented corruption scandal flared up in FIFA on Wednesday morning as seven of the organization’s high-ranking officials were arrested in Switzerland on bribery, money laundering and corruption charges. The scandal involves two separate criminal proceedings.

Firstly, the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York is conducting a criminal investigation into the awarding of media, marketing and sponsorship rights for soccer tournaments in the United States and Latin America. Secondly, the Swiss Office of the Attorney General is conducting a criminal investigation into the selection of Russia as the host country for the 2018 World Cup and Qatar as the host country for 2022.

The arrests of the seven FIFA top officials were made by the Swiss police at the request from the US authorities and they are now facing extradition to the United States.

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