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'Blattini' Court African Votes

Lobbying for the Fifa presidency continues apace, with both incumbent Sepp Blatter and wannabe Michel Platini courting the votes of the football family’s poorest members.

Blatter in particular has cemented his status as the don of the beautiful game by pandering to Africa and Asia with money and trinkets, and despite the dark cloud of corruption that hangs over his head, is venerated in Africa for his role in South Africa’s hosting the 2010 World Cup.

Blatter is supposed to abdicate his throne at some stage in the future. But he is as likely to do that as Biya, Mugabe and Khamenei combined.

Uefa president Platini is expected to challenge the septuagenarian Swiss for the Fifa presidency. And so it is no surprise that the former French star has followed Blatter in kowtowing to Africa and Asia with tantalising promises for the future.

Blatter went on record last week to say that Africa and Asia (where he is strong) deserve more places at the World Cup, because they have more national federations than Europe and South America (where he is weak).

Obviously, Platini wants some of the love that the poor nations have given Blatter, and so he has piggybacked off the president’s gambit.

But Platini has been a little bit sneakier with his affections, spreading them even thinner. And he has suggested that by expanding the 2018 World Cup to 40 teams, everybody can have their cake and eat it.

"It's good for everybody," Platini told The Times, regarding the idea to expand the World Cup.

"I totally agree with Mr Blatter that we need more African and Asian (teams). But instead of taking away some European, we have to go to 40 teams.

"We can add two African, two Asiatic, two American, one Oceania and one from Europe."

While it would be fantastic to see more African teams at the World Cup (maybe then Bafana Bafana could get there), is it not a little unseemly for the football aspirations of the continent to be exploited as bargaining chips, in the tussle for power behind the scenes at Fifa headquarters in Zurich?

Read: Sepp Anoints Platini

Read: Fifa Implicated In Qatar ‘Slavery’

Blatter Sends Condolences About Taunyane

Blatter Admits Qatar 'Mistake'

Blatter Slams Racism

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