Friday Kickoff: Blatter considers seeking a fifth term; Vidic confirms Man United departure; and more

SeppBlatterFIFA8 (Reuters)

By DAN KARELL

Even at 77 years old, Sepp Blatter still thinks he has enough strength to remain FIFA President.

Speaking to a Swiss radio station RTS, Blatter hinted again that he was considering running for a fifth term as FIFA president when his current term ends in 2015. Blatter succeeded Brazilian Joao Havelange in 1998 and was re-elected again in 2002, 2007, and 2011.

“I’m in good health and I don’t see why I should now think about stopping the work, about the consolidation of FIFA,” Blatter told RTS on Friday. ”If the member associations ask me to be a candidate, I would not say no.”

“There are lots of people who say it’s necessary to carry on, the continuation is necessary, it’s not necessary to stop,” Blatter added.

After a controversial election in 2011, which saw his opponent Mohammed bin Hammam banned for life after an investigation into alleged bribery force him out of the race, Blatter promised that he wouldn’t run again 2015, though it seems he’s close to changing his mind.

Here are some more stories to start your Friday:

VIDIC CONFIRMS SUMMER MAN UNITED EXIT

Manchester United will be missing a familiar face next season.

Defender Nemanja Vidic confirmed on the club’s website that he will be leaving when his contract expires this summer, ending a period of eight years at Man United. Vidic joined as a 24-year-old back in January 2006, and went on to form a strong defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand.

“It’s the last year of my contract and I have had eight wonderful years here,” Vidic said on Man United’s website. “My time at this great club will always rank as the best years of my career. I never could have imagined winning 15 trophies and I will certainly never forget that fantastic night in Moscow, memories that will live with me and the fans forever. However, I have decided that I will move on at the end of this season. I want to challenge myself again and try to make the best of myself in the coming years.

“I’m not considering staying in England as the only club I ever wanted to play for here is Manchester United and I was lucky enough to be part of this club for so many years. I’ve got a few options to move on and I will choose the right one for me and for my family.

“I am now going to focus all my efforts on playing for Manchester United and do the best I can for the team until the end of the season. I hope this stops any further speculation about my future.”

Vidic will finish his Man United career with more than 200 English Premier League appearances, 50 UEFA Champions League appearances, and the aforementioned 15 titles. As was reported on Thursday, multiple clubs in Serie A are interested in signing the 32-year-old Serbian international.

KAKA SUFFERING FROM ILLNESS

AC Milan are likely to be without one of their key players on Saturday when they visit Napoli.

Brazilian midfielder Kaka has missed the last three days of training with AC Milan with illness, leaving his fitness in doubt for the high-profile Serie A match. Multiple reports in Italy speculate that new signings Michael Essien or Adel Taarabt could make their debuts against Rafael Benitez’s side.

Kaka has scored five goals in 16 games with Milan this season, who have struggled mightily this season and sit in tenth place in Serie A with 29 points, a full 30 points behind leaders Juventus.

QUICK KICKS

Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery underwent surgery for a burst blood vessel in his bottom that was affecting a nerve. (REPORT)

Despite playing only three times this season for Fiorentina this season due to injury, Mario Gomez could make his return next Tuesday in a Coppa Italia second-leg match against Udinese. (REPORT)

Ajax manager Frank De Boer admits that he’d like to manage Tottenham or Liverpool some day. (REPORT)

Argentine club Lanus defeated Venezuela’s Caracas, 1-0, to qualify for the group stage in the Copa Libertadores. (REPORT)

The FA has commissioned a new hearing over Andy Carroll’s three-match ban for a red card, which West Ham United wants rescinded. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Blatter running for a fifth term? Think he can win again? Where do you see Vidic moving to?

Share your thoughts below.

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26 Responses to Friday Kickoff: Blatter considers seeking a fifth term; Vidic confirms Man United departure; and more

  1. Madden's Chin says:

    I want to waterboard this fat f**** while showing him pictures of the hundreds of dead mothers, fathers, and kids and the 10s of thousands of slaves being held and worked to death by the Qatar royal family to build his f****** air conditioned desert oasis in a country that has less people than the freaking Houston proper.

    • Julian says:

      He didnt vote for Qatar. I cant stand him either but perhaps he’s the lesser of the possible evils.

    • Cannon says:

      You do know tha he voted for the US right?
      Maybe you should show him pictures of the tens of thousands of mothers, fathers, sons and daughters of those killed by firearms every year in the US
      You need to stop your overly dramatic victimization BS or take it somewhere else… Or at least be a little bit educated before spewing your hate.

      • timmytwoshoezzz says:

        It doesn’t really matter who he voted for. Once the tournament was awarded, FIFA is responsible for overseeing the preparations, and thus responsible (at least in part) for the deplorable working conditions of those working to prepare the facilities.

        The vote is the easy part. FIFA has been completely negligent in their failure to supervise. Of course, none of this is shocking in the least, as if FIFA were its own country it would likely rate only slightly less corrupt than Somalia.

        • AcidBurn says:

          This. If you are going to complain about Blatter, it’s that he hasn’t been more diligent in either 1) finding a way to move the games out of Qatar on a technicality or 2) driving real change in the conditions by which the country is hosting the event – and FIFA reports and switching it to winter is a cop out.

          If Blatter runs though, he’s not running to lose. Election is in the bag if he declares to run.

      • Madden's Chin says:

        What do firearm deaths have to do with anything? Spew my hate?

        MY HATE??!?

        THEY ARE KEEPING SLAVES TO BUILD THE F*U(&#$*(@$# STADIUM. SLAVES.

        1000s have been killed already. KILLED. TO BUILD STADIUMS. FOR FIFA.

      • Gerard D. says:

        Wait, are you really comparing firearm deaths in person to person incidents to institutionalized slavery sanctioned by and under the supervision of FIFA? And you’re accusing Madden’s Chin of spewing hate and being uneducated?

        Irony man. Irony.

        Fact is, FIFA built a tinder pile of corruption, bribery, and lawlessness and at the first sign of a spark they tossed a gallon of gasoline on the pile.

        I don’t think you understand the issue. The Qatar government is keeping actual slaves. According to the most recent reports, 10s of thousands of them with limited access to food, water, medical supplies and barred from escaping the country.

        • Spectra says:

          Thank you so much for these responses. I don’t know how these stories are getting by me. This is horrendous. I googled it and found dozens of articles from reputable sources. Why is this not bigger news? We are literally using slaves to build our collesiums? what year is this? Wake up SEPP!!!

          • Gerard D. says:

            It’s enough to make you go purple with rage.

          • Bushnell says:

            Let’s bring in the rest of the story: American companies are making millions building the infrastructure needed for the WC in Qatar . Just like they did in South Africa under similar labor cirumstances.
            Of course SA didn’t “steal” our WC so people were ok with that.

            • Nic D "the TX 2 Stepper" says:

              Not exactly. SA did not use slave labor. Do you have a source to support that assertion.

      • betamale says:

        Maybe we should show him pictures of all the thousands of mothers, fathers, sons and daughters of those killed by bees and baths. Both of which kill more people than firearms.

        Fool.

        • Gerard D. says:

          Another one of you?

          In your mind, slavery is okay and shouldn’t be talked about because people are stung by bees?

          Are you people being paid to spread disinformation?

      • MLSsnob says:

        He might’ve had the example wrong but it doesn’t change the fact this this guy is a complete joke.

    • THomas says:

      You mad bro?

  2. Nate Dollars says:

    “burst blood vessel in his bottom”

    /giggles like a 5-year-old

  3. David says:

    If ever there was an organization that needed term limits, FIFA is the one.

  4. Sean says:

    Oh. Dear. God.

  5. midwest ref says:

    I would really love to know how much each member of the ExCo received last year when they voted on not one, but two World Cups, and awarded them both to countries with a history and culture accepting of bribes at any administrative level.

    Please do not take this as an attack on the people of either country, simply a recognition of cultural differences and the non-secret that many ExCo members are open to different forms of (monetary) persuasion. Including our own Uncle Chuck Blazer.

    I think it is highly unlikley that the US gets awarded another World Cup – or maybe even an Olympics – due to our laws, regulations and culture that actually frowns on bribes – when it is a world-wide bidding situation.

    • AcidBurn says:

      Some of it has been hinted at indirectly, but the amount is staggering. The Argentine Fed got paid something like $75 million to settle debts in order to assure Grondona’s vote.

      It’s millions in both “development fees” to the Fed plus personal kickbacks. Heck, Nicolas Leoz wanted England to knight him in order to get his vote.

      Gulati has said that the US won’t bid again for a World Cup unless the criteria are made more transparent – which means probably not for a long time.

  6. James says:

    Blatter and FIFA have become parodies of themselves. It’s incredible what universal low esteem their held in, yet no one has the gall to stand up to them, because they hold all the cards.

  7. Brain Guy says:

    What FIFA needs is a loss of Blatter control.

  8. Falsify says:

    This guy is a stupid f*cking clown that wont go away.

  9. Remy says:

    Septic Bladder is greedy and corrupt but his potential successor Platini is even worse.