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Blatter, Sepp

Blatter, Sepp (Joseph S. Blatter), 1936–, Swiss sports executive, grad. Univ. of Lausanne, 1959. He served as general secretary of the Swiss Ice Hockey Federation and director of sports timing and public relations at Longines, where he helped organize the 1972 and 1976 Olympics, before joining FIFA (Fédération International de Football Association), soccer's international governing body, in 1975 as technical director. In 1981 he became FIFA's secretary general elected its president in 1998, he was reelected five times. From 1999 to 2015 he was also a member of the International Olympic Committee. Blatter oversaw an increase in the number of African and Asian teams in FIFA events and encouraged the development of women's soccer, but FIFA also faced recurring allegations of mismanagement and corruption during his tenure. Following the indictment (2015) by the United States of several FIFA officials, he announced he would step down. Later in the year he became the subject of a Swiss corruption investigation, and subsequently was suspended by FIFA for eight years and fined for ethics violations.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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