Blatter wins tenure vote

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has strengthened his power after a bid to impose an eight-year limit on future leaders of the game's world governing body was defeated.

Asian confederation president Mohamed Bin Hammam, viewed as a potential challenger against Blatter in next year's presidential election, had proposed the limit at Friday's (local time) FIFA executive committee meeting in Zurich.

The proposal was defeated by 15 votes to five however - a result which decreases the likelihood of Bin Hammam standing, and boosts Blatter's chances of being re-elected unopposed for a fourth term in office.

His standing was further enhanced by FIFA's financial results for 2009 which showed turnover topping 1billion US dollars ($A1 billion) for the first time, with reserves of a similar level.

Blatter told a news conference in Zurich: "Mohamed Bin Hammam proposed that the future mandate of the presidency is limited to eight years - twice four years - and not more.

"This motion was rejected by 15 votes to five with one abstention.

"This would only have been relevant for the presidential elections after 2011.

"They have repeated that this is nothing personal but the executive committee was of the opinion that this is a matter for the FIFA Congress.

"The arguments which were brought forward were why should the FIFA presidential office be touched by such a limit and none of the confederation presidents?

"If there should be such a limit of mandates then it should be valid for everybody in FIFA and not just the president."

FIFA's results for 2009 showed revenue was 1.059billion US dollars (£702million), an 18% surplus.

Blatter said some of the profits would be dispersed to national associations and confederations.

"We are comfortable - I would not say we are rich but we are happy," added Blatter.

"Compared to FIFA, the International Olympic Committee's equity is far behind."

Meanwhile, FIFA also announced that Indonesia had been told to withdraw from the bidding for the 2022 World Cup after failing to provide the necessary documents.

Source PRESS ASSOCIATION