Soccer-Blatter hints strongly may stay on for another term

PANAMA CITY, April 19 Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:33am BST

PANAMA CITY, April 19 (Reuters) - Sepp Blatter gave his strongest hint yet that he may stay on for another four-year term as FIFA president beyond 2015, saying the scale of reform facing soccer's global governing body needed time.

Blatter, 77, has indicated in the past he would not stand for a fifth consecutive term in two years' time but he told Reuters on Friday that he would not "abandon this boat" before he was sure FIFA was in the right shape.

"We are not over with our reform because we have a first part, we have all the dangers that are in football like match-fixing and so on but we also have to have a look at the political organisation of FIFA," he said after attending CONCACAF's congress.

CONCACAF is soccer's governing body in North and Central America, and the Caribbean region.

Blatter has increasingly talked of the need to strengthen the 'global' character of FIFA and he said there was a need to address the issue of representation of the different confederations on the administration's executive committee.

"It means (asking) if the re-partition of the members in the Executive Committee is still according to nowadays (current) football," he said.

"Also - and this is the demand of all the confederations - they would have a better access to the World Cup because - Europe and South America they have two-thirds of the seats," he said, referring to the make-up of the executive.

Asked directly if he wanted to be sure of global balances being in place before he would move on, Blatter said: "Absolutely, but it will take more time than just to go to the congress and say 'applaud'.

"It will take more time, because it (means) going in depth, and then I will not just leave the boat by saying 'good bye'," he said.

"Some day we have to go home but I will not abandon this boat."

Blatter was elected president of FIFA in 1998 but has worked at the organisation since 1975.

(Editing by Ian Ransom)

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