Sports

Blatter wins fifth term as FIFA president

Zurich, Switzerland (SportsNetwork.com) - Joseph Blatter won a fifth term as FIFA president on Friday after challenger Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan withdrew from the race following the conclusion of the first round of voting.

With the exception of three nations whose ballots invalidated, 209 federations voted in the first ballot of the day with Blatter needing 140 to win. However, in a bit of surprise, the controversial Swiss leader only managed 133, while Al-Hussein took 73 votes, forcing the delegation to sit for a second vote.

But as the delegation prepared for the second vote, in which a simple majority was needed to win, Al-Hussein stepped to the podium and concisely announced his withdrawal from the race, conceding victory to Blatter.

"I would like to give compliments and express my gratitude to his Royal Highness Prince Ali," Blatter told the assembled representatives. "I thank you that you have accepted me for the next four years. We will work on things we have to do for FIFA in the future. Let's go FIFA!"

Thought to be a walk-over merely days ago, things were turned upside down in Switzerland's largest city on Wednesday after nine high-ranking FIFA officials were arrested by United States and Swiss authorities on charges of corruption.

The arrests were in regards to activities carried out in relation with soccer federations in South America (CONMEBOL) and North America, Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF), as well as for the bidding procedures for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup.

The organization has been accused of bribery for decades, particularly as it relates to the bidding processes for international tournaments and media rights, including its biggest event -- the World Cup.

Blatter, who has been FIFA's chief since 1998, was not among those charged in the indictment.