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Soccer rivals Prince Ali and Sepp Blatter

Fifa’s 209 member associations will decide today whether to give Sepp Blatter a fifth term as president.

World football’s governing body continues to reel from a series of damaging corruption allegations.

But the 79-year-old Blatter has already resisted calls to resign and insists he is the man to “fix things”.

Blatter, who has been at the helm of Fifa since 1998, is being challenged for the presidency by 39-year-old Jordanian Prince Ali bin al-Hussein.

Speaking on the eve of the presidential election in Zurich, Blatter admitted “these are unprecedented and difficult times for Fifa”.

But he added: “It must fall to me to uphold responsibility for the well-being of the organisation.”

Fifa has been dogged by scandal but faced a fresh crisis on Wednesday when bribery and racketeering charges were laid against several top officials by authorities in the United States.

A total of 14 people were indicted, with seven senior football officials arrested in dawn raids at a Zurich hotel. All seven now face extradition to the US.

In a separate development, Swiss officials opened criminal proceedings into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid processes.

Blatter condemned the “action of individuals” for bringing “shame and humiliation” on Fifa and football but he said that it was impossible for him to “monitor everyone all of the time”. – [BBC]