FIFA presidential election goes ahead

The English Football Association’s bid to postpone the FIFA presidential election ended in a heavy defeat on Wednesday.

FA chairman David Bernstein called on the 208 FIFA member associations to stop Sepp Blatter being re-elected unopposed.

However, the FIFA members then voted by 172 votes to 17 not to postpone the election.

In his speech Bernstein said: "It gives me no pleasure to make this speech. A lot of people have warned me I shouldn’t be making this speech but FIFA is a democratic organisation.

"We are faced with an unsatisfactory situation. We are subject to universal
criticism from governments, sponsors, media and the wider world.

"With this background the election has turned into one-horse race.

"In the view of the Football Association this should be avoided both for the
sake of FIFA and the president itself. A coronation without an opponent provides a flawed mandate.

"I ask for a postponement to allow time for an additional candidate or
candidates to stand and compete in an open and fair election.

"Only by so doing will the winner have proper credibility over the next four
years.”

Bernstein had minimal applause as he left the podium and the FA’s call was then subject to criticism from a series of following speakers.

Blatter then announced a major change to how World Cup hosts will be chosen.

In the future, the tournament’s hosts will be chosen by a vote of all the 208 member associations rather than the 24-man executive committee.

Blatter said: "I want to give more power to the national associations.

"In the future the World Cup will be decided by the FIFA Congress. The executive committee will create a shortlist – but will make no recommendations only a list – and the Congress will decide on the venue.”