FIFA member countries dismiss age, term limit proposals for officials

FIFA's Sepp Blatter is expected to seek a fifth straight presidential term.

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SAO PAULO —

FIFA member countries have thrown out proposals to introduce age and term limits for football officials.

The modernizing moves have long been regarded by FIFA’s anti-corruption advisers as an essential step to change the scandal-hit governing body’s culture.

FIFA’s 209 countries voted down separate proposals in principle on Wednesday, at public ballots during their congress.

Term limits had seemed more likely to win approval.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who is 78, had widely campaigned against age limits as a form of discrimination. He is expected to seek a fifth straight term, although a vote in favor Wednesday would not have affected FIFA’s presidential election next May.

Blatter also told FIFA’s Congress on Wednesday that managers could be given two challenges per match.

The proposal was unexpected given Blatter’s traditional support for referees and opposition to using technology.

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When Blatter changed his mind on goal-line technology at the 2010 World Cup, he said it was the only issue he would open.

Instead, Blatter says now ”I think it’s good to put the game and the control of the game in question.”

Any change must be approved by the rules panel IFAB.

The proposal is likely to be opposed Michel Platini, the president of UEFA which has openly opposed Blatter’s re-election plans this week.