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Blatter to step down in 2015

PARIS, March 22 – Sepp Blatter confirmed here Tuesday that should he be re-elected to a fourth term at the head of football's world governing body FIFA, it would be his final spell in charge.

Blatter, 75, announced his intentions at a UEFA Congress Tuesday. The Swiss has been in the job for 13-years and confirmed the June 1 vote in Zurich would be his final bid.

It had once been thought that Blatter would go unchallenged before stepping aside for current UEFA boss Michel Platini in four years. But he will be challenged for the job by Asian football chief Mohamad bin Hammam, who has adopted an anti-corruption stance.

"I’m looking at four more years, and they shall be my last four," said Blatter.

Blatter has been on the campaign trail recently and evoked the programme he would hope to establish.

"Football should be a school for life and play a role in education and should be supported by governments for its health and education aspect," said Blatter.

"But football is bedevilled by all kinds of rotten influences, it’s a game and in a game we often try to cheat a little," he said.

Blatter went on to explain he would help clubs maintain their identity and strengthen the national teams and would fight against illegal gambling and a trend toward disrespect to referees.

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He also evoked a new zero tolerance policy toward members of the FIFA executive, which is likely an alllusion toward the scandal that hit two members of the governing body during the vote for who had the right to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Blatter’s policies were heavily scrutinised after the surprise vote to hand Qatar the 2022 World Cup, with lack of transparency being the chief gripe of detractors.

Bin Hammam, a wealthy Qatari and president of the Asian Football Confederation, has pledged to expand FIFA’s decision-making process and introduce a "more fair distribution of revenue and increased transparency", if he won the presidency.

Bin Hammam reached out to member associations by proposing to double their annual grants to $500,000 and is a firm supporter of goalline technology.

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