Four out of five fans don't want Blatter to stand: survey


Four out of five soccer fans believe Sepp Blatter should not be standing for a fifth term as FIFA president, according to a survey conducted by anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International.

Transparency said 35,000 supporters in 30 countries were polled in the survey conducted with Football Addicts, a Swedish developer behind the Forza Football app.

Blatter is the runaway favorite to win Friday's election where Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan is his only challenger. The 209-member associations of world soccer's ruling body FIFA hold one vote each.

Two other candidates, former Portugal forward Luis Figo and Dutch FA president Michael van Praag, withdrew last week. The poll was conducted when all four were still in the race.

"The poll was to assess how the effects of corruption and poor governance at FIFA is perceived by fans who will have no say in the vote," said Transparency.

In answer to the question 'Following FIFA World Cup corruption scandals, should Sepp Blatter be standing again for President of FIFA?", 83 percent voted no, it added.

Opposition to Blatter was strongest in Chile where 99 percent of those questioned said he should not be elected, and Portugal, with 97 percent against.

In his native Switzerland 84 percent replied that he should not stand.

Qatar, hosts of the 2022 World Cup, was the least hostile among the countries surveyed, with 60 percent saying he should not stand.

In reply to another question, 69 percent said they had no confidence in FIFA, 17 said yes and 14 percent did not know.

Transparency said Figo was the preferred candidate with 59.1 percent of the votes. He was followed by Van Praag (8.7), Prince Ali (5.3) and Blatter (2.2) while 24.6 percent would not vote for any of those candidates.

"The corruption and scandals associated with FIFA have so damaged its reputation that fans have no confidence in the organization," said Transparency spokeswomen Deborah Unger.

"That is sending a strong message to the small elite controlling FIFA that it must clean up its act. It is the fans who pay for and support football and make FIFA one of the most powerful organizations on the planet. They deserve better."

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)