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FIFA presidential elections since 1904

21 May 2015, 09:21

London - For the first time since 1961 the names of more than two men will be on the ballot paper when delegates cast their votes for the next president of FIFA in Zurich on May 29.

Three men contested the 1961 election with Englishman Stanley Rous winning, becoming the sixth president, a position he held until 1974.

In the intervening 41 years only two men have occupied the office: Brazilian Joao Havelange and Sepp Blatter of Switzerland.

A look at the presidential elections since FIFA's foundation in 1904:

Paris 1904 The seven founding members, Belgium, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, unanimously elected Frenchman Robert Guerin as FIFA's first president.

Berne 1906 Daniel Burley Woolfall became the first of three Englishmen to hold the title of FIFA president. He died in office in 1916. Carl Anton Hirschmann of the Netherlands took over as acting president.

Geneva 1923 Frenchman Jules Rimet was installed as president. He oversaw the birth of the World Cup and held the position until 1954, a 33-year term of office and the longest of any president.

Rimet eventually stepped down when he was 80 and died two days after his 83rd birthday in 1956. The first World Cup trophy, contested from 1930 to 1970 and won three times by Brazil, was named in his honour. Berne 1954 Rodolphe Seeldrayers of Belgium succeeded Rimet but died in office just over a year later. Ernst B. Thommen of Switzerland then took over as acting president for two years.

Lisbon 1956 Arthur Drewry of England became president, beating France's Marcel Larfarge by 38-16 votes. He was in the chair at the Rome Congress in 1960 when England were named as hosts for the 1966 World Cup.

He become the third FIFA president to die in office in March 1961. Ernst B. Thommen then took over as acting president for a second time.

London 1961 Stanley Rous succeeds Drewry at an extra-ordinary FIFA Congress in London, beating Yugoslavia's Professor Mihailo Andrejevic by 51-14 votes on a second ballot.

In the first round of voting, Rous collected 35 votes, acting president Ernst B. Thommen 18 and Andrejevic 14. Thommen then withdrew from the second round. Frankfurt 1974 After 13 years as president Rous was beaten by Brazilian Joao Havelange to become FIFA's seventh president and the first from outside Europe.

Also read: Newcastle must put problems aside for relegation decider

Havelange, who promised funding and World Cup places to Asian and African countries, totally outflanked the Englishman defeating him by 68-52 votes on a second ballot. It was the moment the modern FIFA was born. Paris 1998 Havelange never faced a challenge to his presidency and apart from the first term, won by beating Rous. No-one opposed him for five straight terms until he eventually retired after 24 years aged 82 in 1998.

Two men ran for the right to succeed him -- FIFA's secretary general Sepp Blatter and UEFA president Lennart Johansson.

A fierce election campaign began just four months before voting was due to take place at FIFA's 51st Congress in the French capital but with many predicting a close-run battle, Blatter polled 111 votes and Johansson 80, with the Swede conceding defeat before a second ballot was held.

Seoul 2002 Blatter was challenged for the presidency in 2002 by Issa Hayatou of Cameroon, the president of the African confederation (CAF).

Shortly before the election Blatter was the subject of a formal legal complaint from 11 FIFA executive committee colleagues who accused him of an abuse of power and financial mismanagement.

In one of the darkest periods in FIFA's history then Secretary General Michel Zen-Ruffinen handed a document to Swiss prosecutors on behalf of the 11, alleging wrong-doing at the highest level. Blatter survived that and won the presidential vote, heavily defeating Hayatou by 139-56 votes at the Congress in Seoul. Zurich 2007 Blatter was re-elected unchallenged at the 57th FIFA Congress.

Zurich 2011 Blatter was challenged for the presidency by Qatari Mohamed Bin Hammam, the president of the Asian confederation (AFC) who had helped and supported Blatter in his campaign against Hayatou in 2002.

Bin Hammam had declared his candidacy in March 2011, but a week before the election at the Congress in Zurich, he was accused of offering bribes for votes at a meeting of Caribbean delegates in Trinidad and withdrew his candidature, leaving Blatter to be re-elected unopposed. Blatter gained 186 votes from the 203 members present while Bin Hammam was subsequently banned from football for life for his part in the bribery scandal leading up to the election.

- Reuters


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