Being a leader of a worldwide organisation is hard, even when it’s focussed on the relatively frivolous pursuit of football, but Sepp Blatter has stood strong as FIFA’s president since 1998.
His reign has had its fair share of ups and downs, but whatever controversy has arisen, Blatter has emerged on the other side unruffled and still in command.
Given his enduring tenure, what lessons can be learned from the Swiss, especially when it comes to battling through sticky situations that would down a lesser man?
Women’s football not progressing fast enough under your tenure? Suggest bringing sexy back.
A classic from Blatter’s back catalogue, in 2004 the FIFA president advised that women’s football might be best served by the players donning “tighter shorts and low cut shirts.”
Considering that he claimed that “the future of football is feminine” in 1995, you might have expected him to have some more inspiring ideas for developing the even more beautiful game.
Annoyed one of the world’s best players? A Ballon d’Or will rebuild bridges.
Blatter found himself in hot water with Cristiano Ronaldo last year when he suggested the Real Madrid man had more hairdressing expenses than Lionel Messi.
After their president wrote a letter of apology to Ronaldo, FIFA decided to extend the Ballon d’Or voting date to include Portugal’s World Cup play-off with Sweden. A completely unrelated decision, it’s important to remember.
Ronaldo excelled in those matches, scoring four times, and ended Messi’s Ballon d’Or winning streak later in the year.
The Portuguese star is 18/1 to be the top scorer at the World Cup this summer.
Facing uncomfortable questions about corruption? Accuse the British press of racism.
The controversy over the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar is set to run until the world’s best step out into the 40-degree heat in 2022, assuming the Middle-Eastern nation retains the tournament.
Under fire from all angles, Blatter opted to turn his own guns on the British press, accusing them of racism as they strive to uncover the possibly nefarious details behind Qatar’s winning bid.
Still facing those uncomfortable questions about Qatar 2022? Put on your dancing shoes.
When his attempts to divert the attention on to the British press didn’t prove 100 per cent successful, Blatter brought out the big guns.
When all hope seems lost and your days as football’s leading bureaucrat look numbered, always remember that you can dance your way out of trouble.
At a pre-tournament World Cup gala, Blatter pulled out some Ricky Gervais-esque moves in an ill-advised attempt to impress model Fernanda Lima.