By Andrew Warshaw

Sepp_Blatter_in_Nicaragua_April_14_2011April 29 - FIFA President Sepp Blatter says all 208 member nations will choose·future World Cup hosts, Olympic-style, if he is re-elected on June 1 - instead of the vote being determined by a select few.

Blatter admits it is time to copy the way the Olympic Movement operates in order to restore FIFA's global credibility.

Football's world governing body came under ferocious attack in the wake of the double ballot for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups last December.

Respective winners Russia and Qatar ended up being picked by a panel of just 22 after two executive committee members were barred from voting by FIFA's ethics committee due to corruption allegations.

Blatter says allowing the full FIFA Congress to pick World Cup hosts would make·the process more democratic and transparent and prevent·collusion.

"It's a project I've had at the back of my mind," Blatter told the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper in an interview to be published tomorrow.

"I would like to [follow] the example of the IOC (International Olympic Committee), to prevent what happened."

"The Executive Committee [would] receive ten or 12 bids, look at them, recommend the best ones and then let the plenary meeting vote."

Deciding World Cup hosts·in the same way that Olympic venues are selected·would give FIFA member nations one vote each instead of giving ultimate power to a small elite grouping with vested interests.

"That would be a positive solution for FIFA," Blatter said.

"In view of the uncomfortable experience I had in Zürich on 2 December it's an idea worth considering."

Blatter,·who is running for a fourth term,·also said he wanted to introduce a new independent body designed to help repair FIFA's image.

"I will present a committee, a kind of higher-level body, to Congress that is intended to restore the credibility of FIFA in terms of corporate governance and compliance," he said.

"It is designed to be an institution that acts outside our normal procedures and structures.

"A council of the wise' but with a bit more power.

"It will be made up of people from outside football.

"They should be familiar with football but their priority will be to restore credibility I've already identified a chairman but I can't divulge the name at present.

"He will nominate the other members.

"I put forward this proposal in January."

Tellingly, the 75-year-old Swiss denounced his opponent in the Presidential election, Asian Football Confederation chief Mohamed Bin Hammam, for deciding to stand against him.

Ironically, Bin Hammam spearheaded Blatter's 1998 election victory but is now in opposition.

"We had a really good relationship and he supported my election in 1998," said Blatter.

"We worked together but I wouldn't say it was a friendship.

"I don't know why Bin Hammam became so aggressive suddenly.

"He repeatedly told the executive he would not run against me and now he is doing it.

"I believe the majority of the football community is aware that you can't turn the entire world of football on its head.

"And that's what Mohamed's manifesto aims to do.

"I have trust in the traditional values of our game and its pyramid organisation."

"I feel it's primarily a question of whether you want a revolution at FIFA as he has proposed.

"That's why he says I'm too old and too tired.

"But I firmly believe that the football family wants to stick with FIFA in its current form."

Blatter, who is expected to attend next week's CONMEBOL and CONCACAF Congresses to lobby for votes, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine there was only one winner on June 1.

"I imagine that I have about the half votes from Asia and Africa and surely a majority in the rest of the world," he said.

Even at 75, he said, he had the energy of a far younger man.

"That's down to my internal clock, which is ticking away all the time," said Blatter.

"I don't find it tiring when I'm busy with football and my projects, where I deal with lots of young people.

"It gives me energy."

In what·is by far·his most wide-ranging interview to date in the election campaign, Blatter freely revealed his salary and and refuted the suggestion that FIFA's reputation was globally stained because of recent corruption scandals.

"[I earn] one million dollars.

"Perhaps a bit more," he said.

"I'm not ashamed by that.

"Where does FIFA have such a bad reputation?

"Not all over the world, that's for sure.

"It's bad in the German-speaking area, it's better in France and the British media are up and down.

"But football is an institution that has to be nurtured.

"There are 300 million people in the football family.

"It has an annual global turnover of $300 billion (£183 billion), a large part of which comes from the fans who travel to see their teams.

"Football has a socio-cultural and political dimension that I'd like to expand still further."

Asked to explain, however, why FIFA is still seen primarily as corrupt, Blatter replied:·"You can see in our financial report that 70 per cent of our income goes back into football.

"It's impossible for me to list all the good work we do.

"There are always going to be black sheep."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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