Two days after a breathtaking 47-count U.S Justice Department charging FIFA, the international governing body of world soccer, with bribery and corruption, its president sailed to re-election,
Sepp Blatter's fifth term victory came amid as challenge from Jordan's PrinceAli bin Al Hussein, who had vowed to clean up the mess alleged by the Americans and hinted at in a second Swiss-run probe.
The vote was headed to a second round, where only a simple majority of the 209 member votes were needed. In the first round Blatter got 133 votes; he needed 140. But there was no doubt he was going to win. Before the second round could start, the Prince withdrew.
Blatter, 79. vowed to make the organization that runs the World Cup transparent and devoid of corruption.
“I am being held accountable for the current storm," he said.
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"So be it... I will shoulder it. I will take it upon myself,” he said, "and I want to fix Fifa together with you."
The U.S., Canada and much ofEurope -- except Spain and Russia -- wanted Blatter gone, but Asian, African and Latin American rallied around him.
There is no Security Council at FIFA. Each of the 209 countries have one vote of the same weight, meaning Germany's vote is no more powerful than Senegal's.
It'll be interesting to watch what's next. The European soccer group had said that if Blatter wins, it may rethink its ties with FIFA.
In a new development, Britain's Serious Fraud Office said it was examining possible corruption at FIFA.
Also, a judge inArgentinahas ordered the arrest of three businessmen accused of using bribery to obtain soccer media rights.
Reuters reports that the Brazilian Senate has also moved to open a formal inquiry into soccer bribery allegations.
The U.S. probe accuses top FIFA figures -- not Blatter -- and sports executives of corruption.
Switzerland is investigating the award of the next World Cup finals toRussiaand Qatar.