Sepp Blatter looks to win a fifth term as head of FIFA, the governing body of World Cup cycle that the U.S. Justice Department charges is as as Bavarian pretzel.
This despite some high profile support for his only competition: Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan. New Zealand, the UK, Germany, Canada and the U.S. are among the delegations in Zurich, Switzerland now opposing Blatter.
Blatter, 79, just gave a speech ahead of Friday’s vote calling for unity.
"We cannot let the reputation of football, and of Fifa, be dragged through the mud," he said. The FIFA officials targeted by U.S/ and Swiss authorities, were "not the entire organization.”
Indeed, Blatter was not accused in the 47-count U.S. Justice Department indictment that saw the arrest Wednesday of seven top FIFA officials at the very hotel where Friday’s vote is being held.
The vote will be held before noon, New York time.
The Guardian breaks down why Sepp will keep the world soccer presidency.
In all, 209 soccer associations will vote; 139 are needed to win. The votes are note weighted. That means the smallest nation’s vote is as important as the biggest one. Blatter, the Guardian says, has the numbers:
North and Central America and Caribbean: 35 votes.
Almost all the member nations will vote for Blatter, except the U.S. and Canada.
Africa: 54 votes.
The Confederation of African Football says Blatter and FIFA have “our full support to the measures initiated by Fifa in recent years in improving good governance,” says the Guardian.
Asia: 46 votes.
Australia is part of the Asian Football Confederation and the only one not backing Blater so far.
South America: 10 votes.
Brazil, Argentina, and every other member is on board for Blatter.
Oceania: 11 votes.
Only New Zealand is going for the prince.
Europe: 53 votes.
This is Blatter’s weak spot. The Guardian says 45 of the European Football Association’s members will opt for Prince Ali. Russia and Spain will go for Blatter.