In an official interview, FIFA President Sepp Blatter yesterday said this of the two top-line agenda items for reform -- an age limit and term limits for FIFA leadership -- being considered at the FIFA Congress this week:
I’ve already said I was against the age limit as I believe it is not a relevant criteria, not everyone is the same at 60, 70, 80, etc. It could even be seen as discriminatory. Passion makes the difference. However I am not against a limitation of a number of mandates, this rule applies in many democracies in fact. But then it should apply to everybody.Today, FIFA's Executive Committee tabled both proposed reforms until at least next year, according to Kier Radnedge:
A decision on the contentious issues of age and term limits for members of the FIFA executive has been put back at least a year – by the executive itself.The official interview appears to have served a purpose beyond simply sharing information, but also sending a message. That message was apparently heard loud and clear.
The reform issues both featured on the agenda for the world football federation’s congress here on the Indian Ocean island in Mauritius later this week.
However the inability of senior figures – including president Sepp Blatter – to reach agreement on either issue prompted the exco to push the issue back until next year’s congress in Sao Paulo.
Blatter himself, maybe with an eye on his own possible pursuit of re-election in 2015 when he would be 80 – had already expressed a personal opposition to age limits.
Several of the six regional confederations disagreed on term limits. Several were also concerned by Blatter’s caution that he would expect age and term limits to be mimicked down through the confederations and national associations.
The age and term limits were already leftovers from a watered-down reform agenda. Some interesting questions result -- What will the FIFA IGC do next? How did Sunil Gulati vote on the tabling motion? Where is Mark Pieth?