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Sepp Blatter's election bid not harmed by critics, says Boyce

By Staff Reporter

The flak that has been aimed at Fifa president Sepp Blatter may have little, if any, effect in deciding the outcome of Friday's election, Britain's outgoing Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce has admitted.

Blatter is standing against Prince Ali Bin al Hussein of Jordan but, despite years of negative headlines, the 79-year-old is the overwhelming favourite to win a fifth term of office.

During Blatter's 17-year tenure there have been numerous corruption allegations surrounding Fifa officials - many of them his former allies - and a number have received bans or resigned.

Former Irish FA president Boyce believes Blatter's biggest mistake was not taking action against the likes of Jack Warner from Trinidad, Brazil's Ricardo Teixeira or former president Joao Havelange much earlier in his presidency, but says many of the 209 associations will still support the incumbent.

Boyce said: "He has taken an awful lot of flak, but for the 209 associations they may view it differently and I think he will win the election comfortably.

"Sepp Blatter may not be a young man but when the associations ask him for things or invite him to occasions then he helps them and visits them, and people appreciate that.

"My view is that he did not take action against people he should have done several years ago, but what you can say is that they have now departed.

"Having said that, the big problem Fifa have is trying to get away from this image that everyone is corrupt. They do a lot of good work that is not properly recognised."

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