Friday Kickoff: Blatter intends to run for fifth term; Costa, Pepe carrying injuries; and more

SeppBlatter10-FIFA (AFP)

By DAN KARELL

Sepp Blatter isn’t ready to step away from FIFA just yet.

Despite making promises in 2011 that his election that year would be his last, Blatter sent yet another hint to the press that he intends to run for a fifth term as FIFA president in 2015. The 78-year-old claimed in an interview with a Swiss radio station that he was still in good health and that if the nations of FIFA nominated him to run again, he wouldn’t say no.

“I want to do it because it’s not over yet,” Blatter told Swiss newspaper Blick at an event in Zurich, Switzerland. “My mandate is certainly coming to its end but my mission is not yet complete.”

Blatter took over the FIFA post in 1998 for the Brazilian Joao Havalange. Blatter is expected to be challenged by Frenchman Jerome Champagne and possibly current FIFA vice-president Michel Platini.

Blatter has been involved in many controversies during his time as FIFA president, with allegations ranging from bribes to sexism and racism.

Here are some more stories to kick off your weekend:

DIEGO COSTA, PEPE COULD BE DOUBTS THIS WEEKEND AND FOR UCL FINAL

Both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid could be without key players for their upcoming UEFA Champions League final encounter.

Real Madrid defender Pepe has been diagnosed with a grade one tear in his left calf muscle and is set for a minimum of 15 days on the sidelines. Pepe suffered the injury during Real Madrid’s 1-1 draw at Real Valladolid and though he played the full 90 minutes, an MRI scan showed the damage on Thursday.

For Atletico, they could be without their star forward Diego Costa for the rest of the season. Atletico released a medical report saying that the Brazilian-born Spanish international had suffered a hamstring strain, forcing Costa out of training on Friday.

At the very least, Costa could miss Atletico’s important final home game against Malaga on Saturday, and at worst, his hamstring might keep him out for the La Liga finale against Barcelona and even the Champions League final.

With just 15 days until the Champions League final, both players are in a race to fully recover in time.

ROONEY, JONES SET TO BE FIT FOR WORLD CUP

Manchester United will be missing Wayne Rooney and Phil Jones for their final match of the season, but the duo’s injuries reportedly won’t keep them out of World Cup contention.

At his pre-match press conference, Man United interim manager Ryan Giggs confirmed the duo’s absence from the season finale at Southampton but allayed fears from England manager Roy Hodgson that Rooney and Jones would miss the plane to Brazil. Rooney reportedly has a “tight groin” while Jones is suffering from a shoulder injury, though it wasn’t dislocated after a collision in Man United’s home finale against Hull City.

“Wayne has just started training over the last couple of days,” Giggs told reporters. “Sunday probably will be a little be a bit too quick for him but he’ll train and be fine for the World Cup. Phil’s injury isn’t as bad as I thought on the night. He’s obviously out for Sunday but should be OK for the World Cup.”

QUICK KICKS

Another stadium worker has died in Brazil after an electrical accident at the Arena Pantanal. (REPORT)

Arsene Wenger has called for clubs who break Financial Fair Play rules to be banned from European competitions. (REPORT)

Jose Mourinho was fined ¬£10,000 by the FA for statements made about referee Mike Dean following Chelsea’s defeat to Sunderland. (REPORT)

Lionel Messi’s father Jorge has denied that he and Lionel had ever asked that Barcelona buy Sergio Aguero in the Messi’s contract negotiations. (REPORT)

Reports in the Mexican press believe that former Mexico boss Victor Manuel Vucetich could take over as Chivas manager but only under certain conditions, such as bringing in a number of quality players. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Think Sepp Blatter can win a fifth term? Do you see Costa and Pepe being fit for the final? Expect to see Rooney and Jones fully fit for England in Brazil?

Share your thoughts below.

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25 Responses to Friday Kickoff: Blatter intends to run for fifth term; Costa, Pepe carrying injuries; and more

  1. Julio says:

    nooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Corruption corruption corruption.

  2. WeatherManNX01 says:

    Sepp Blatter is scum. If the members reelect him, then we can’t believe anything FIFA says about reducing corruption.

  3. El Homer Simpson says:

    Love that photo of Blatter, as if he is saying “It isn’t my fault.”

  4. Chris says:

    Well, of course he’s running again, all those illegal kick-backs and under-the-table payments keep his mistresses happy and the booze flowing.

  5. Brad C says:

    If it’s not Blatter then it might be Platini. I actually know someone who works for FIFA that has met him who said he’s a royal jerkface.

    • Dirk says:

      I actually know someone who’s sister told him she knows someone who told her she served his table one night and he said he rules soccer.

      But he is just someone I know, not for a long time, but he swears his sister has the goods on Blatter.

  6. reignman says:

    I hate Blatter as much as anyone but the other options are really trash to. Platini? Are you serious with that one? Ugh, how are there not good options available for a prestigious position like this.

    • keithbabs79 says:

      Good options exist, they just can’t get a committee nomination (see Grant Wahl).

      • FulhamDC says:

        Grant Wahl? Are you serious? He’s not a good option, he’s never run anything but his mouth.

  7. fischy says:

    Blatter = Mugabe.

    • timmytwoshoezzz says:

      I hate Bladder as much as anyone, but there’s a special place in Hell for Robert Mugabe and those like him that slaughter thousands of men, women, and chidren and wreck entire nations. Bladder may even be partially responsible for the Qatari slave issues and the Brazilian construction deaths, but those pale in comparison on what Zimbabwe has endured.

      • Nic D "The TX 2 Stepper" says:

        Good on ya Timmy!

        • Increase says:

          I’m rather shocked that this many people know who Robert Mugabe is. There is certainly little to nothing positive to say about the man.

    • Nic D "The TX 2 Stepper" says:

      OK … that is a bridge too far! Sepp Blatter is scum and his very presence is nausea inducing for many people but MUGABE is a Thieving, Murdering, POS that I’m shocked hasn’t killed over and died. BUT I FORGOT, evil doesn’t die.

    • Joamiq says:

      uhhhhh

  8. Falls City Outlaw says:

    Sepp to FIFA: I wish I knew how to quite you.

  9. Mason says:

    He’s Sepp!
    He’s Round!
    He bounces on the ground:
    Seppy Blatts! Seppy Blatts!

    Thank you drunk Steve Nash.

  10. bryan says:

    i’m annoyed Pepe is injured because Varane has not done that well recently. so that does not give me confidence. also, for US fans, we want him to play because he is a red card waiting to happen!

    either way, Ronaldo and Pepe look like they are gonna be beat up and worn out by the World Cup. the conditions in the Amazon aren’t gonna help with that fatigue.

  11. Chupacabra says:

    It is finally time for FIFA to relieve itself of its Blatter problem.

  12. whoop-whoop says:

    “Election” Hilarious and tragic.

    Geezer is like a 1970s style Banana Republic Dictator. Stuck with him til he is pushing up daises.

  13. Joamiq says:

    Let’s be honest – the corruption in FIFA is institutional. It’s not about Blatter. He’s just a product of the system.

  14. user222 says:

    goodnes… blatter is a like a nightmare that cant wake up from it….

    enough of this b atch already.

  15. Brad C says:

    Blatter wants to win again so he can keep a lid on the pandora’s box of corruption that would open when he would leave…