On Wednesday, US Justice Department indicted several FIFA high-ranking officials on corruption charges prompting numerous calls for the elections to be postponed. On the same day, Switzerland opened an investigation into alleged misdemeanors in selecting Russia and Qatar to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 and 2022.
"The current president [of FIFA] is likely to stand. He still has more supporters than opponents in football organizations," Mostafa Shoughi, the head of Sports Department of the Iranian Hamshahri newspaper said, adding that Iran’s Football Federation (FFIRI) will support Blatter’s candidacy.
Shoughi added that three weeks ago he attended the elections of the Asian Football Confederation president in Bahrain and had a chance to compare the positions of football officials from around the Asian continent regarding the upcoming FIFA elections.
"The vast majority of the continent’s countries support the Swiss [candidate]. Even though his only rival is the representative of our confederation — Prince Ali bin Hussein of Jordan. Still, Joseph Blatter did a lot for the development of this sport in the leading football countries of the region and gave a green light to mass football in the Asian countries that were not into football at all until recently," Shoughi said.
Neuwirth said that what bothered her in this situation was the questionable role of the United States in the current FIFA investigation.
"FIFA is an organization that is based in Switzerland and therefore has to act on the basis of Swiss law… I really don’t know why Switzerland is not taking the lead on that," Neuwirth said, adding, however, that she does not think that the Wednesday arrests will have any impact on the FIFA presidential elections.
According to Mostafa Shoughi, the current corruption scandal could be a direct consequence of the Zurich 2010 voting that resulted in Russia and Qatar winning the bid to host the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup competitions.
"I do not rule out that the current corruption scandal is an attempt of those who had lost to prove themselves right and overthrow Blatter, who, right after that elections, expressed hope that Russia would hold the best world championship in history," Shoughi said.
"The vast majority of FIFA Executive Committee members from all the confederations voted for Russia," he noted.
In December 2010, Russia and Qatar were selected to host the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups respectively. England, the United States, Australia and Japan were among the countries competing for hosting rights that year.