On this day, 29 May 2002 (Exactly 17 years ago), Sepp Blatter swept back to power as president of FIFA in Seoul with a crushing election victory after a bitter year-long struggle that left football’s world governing body badly divided.
The then 66-year-old Blatter won a second four-year term with a landslide win over African candidate Issa Hayatou in a vote of the 53rd FIFA congress. Blatter polled 139 votes with Hayatou recording 56. The margin saw Blatter secure the two thirds majority necessary for victory in the first ballot.
“Many, many thanks. You cannot imagine what it means for me having been during months accused by a certain press of saying what a bad man I am,” said a jubilant Blatter seconds after the vote was announced.
“Let’s work together and let’s forget what’s happened in the past. We have to resore our unity and by that we will restore our credibility.
“Let’s go to the World Cup!” The vote represented personal vindication for the 66-year-old former Swiss lawyer who took over as FIFA chief prior to the World Cup finals in France four years earlier .
On this day 29 May 2015 (Exactly 4 years ago) Incumbent FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter was re-elected for a fifth term of office by the 65th FIFA Congress held in Zurich. After the first ballot (206 valid votes, 133 for Joseph S. Blatter, 73 for HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein), HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein addressed the Congress to announce that he was “withdrawing from the race”. At the beginning of the proceedings, the Congress had confirmed that all 209 FIFA member associations were entitled to vote.
After his re-election, Joseph S. Blatter stated: “First, I want to congratulate HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein. He obtained a very good result. Then, I want to thank you for the trust and confidence. I take the responsibility to bring back FIFA where it should be. And I promise you: at the end of my term, I will give FIFA in a very strong position. Let’s go FIFA!”
In his address to the delegates in the morning, the FIFA President had stated: “Events of this week have cast a shadow on football and our Congress. But the guilty ones – if confirmed guilty – are individuals, it’s not the entire organisation! Now, we, all together, have to repair the damage. Immediately! I’m calling on you to put FIFA back on the right track. YOU are FIFA, and FIFA needs you.
Seven Fifa officials, including vice-president Jeffrey Webb, were arrested at dawn by Swiss authorities on request of the US Justice Department two days before the election and were facing extradition to the United States on money laundering, racketeering and wire fraud charges.
In all, 11 individuals were also banned from Fifa activities for their alleged part in the corruption scandals.
The Swiss Office of Attorney General also announced its own investigation into the awarding of the Russian and Qatari World Cups against persons unknown on charges of “criminal mismanagement and money laundering” with Fifa’s plush headquarters being raided in the process.
IRS chief of criminal investigation Richard Weber had described the events as “a World Cup of fraud” and American investigations are set to continue.
Despite the arrests and alleged bribery which took place on his watch, Blatter had earlier insisted that only a “tiny minority” of officials at Fifa were corruptible and had re-iterated his belief all week that he remained the man to lead Fifa out of its current storm.
“You know me already, I don’t need to introduce myself to you,” Blatter told delegates before the ballot. “You know who you’re dealing with. I also know I can count on you. We need to recover our good name. We will start tomorrow morning with this goal in mind.”
Uefa president Michel Platini tried in vain to persuade Blatter to step aside as president in order to usher in a new era at Fifa and also confirmed Uefa’s votes would largely go to the challenger Prince Ali.
On this day 29 May 2006 (Exactly 13 years ago) Ghana’s Black Stars revived the hopes of the nation ahead of their maiden appearance at the FIFA World Cup with a 4-1 drubbing of the Reggae Boys of Jamaica in a special warm up game played at the Walkers Stadium, Liecester, England.
The victory was the team’s first since January when they defeated Senegal by a lone goal in a group game at the Nations Cup hosted by Egypt.
Parading almost a full squad for the second time, in a week, the Stars sold out a classy performance to ensure the victory serves as a good omen ahead of a maiden World Cup appearance the following month.
Sule Muntari (5)
Stephen Appiah(19 ,66)
Ghana: Sammy Adjei,Dan Quaye,John Mensah, Osei Kuffour (Alaassan 78),Habib Mohammed,Stephen Appiah (Otto Addo 83),Michael Essien (Derek Boateng 80), Eric Addo (Hans Adu Sarpei 73),Sule Muntari (Haminu Draman 87), Asamoah Gyan, Matthew Amoah (Razak Pimpong 80).
Jamaica: Ricketts (Sawyers 85); Daley, Stewart, Davis, Reid, Campbell-Ryce (J Johnson 62), Euell, Stephenson (Morrison 80), Crawford, King, Shelton (R Johnson 46).
On this day 29 May 2011 (Exactly 8 years ago) One of the older sides in the Ghanaian topflight competition, Real Tamale United were relegated after a 33-year stay in the elite division.
With just a game left to finish the 2010/2011 Ghana Premier League, RTU lost 1-0 at the Gyemfis Park to New Edubiase courtesy a goal from the penalty spot by Stephen Manu to confirm their place in the second tier of Ghana football.
On this day 29 May 1968 (Exactly 51 years ago) Manchester United became the first English side to win the European Cup after beating Benfica 4-1 at the Wembley Stadium in London.
Read BBC’s Match Report
Manchester Utd win European Cup
Manchester United have become the first English club to win the European Cup beating Portuguese side Benfica by four goals to one.
Ten years after the Munich air crash, which killed eight of Matt Busby’s young team, Manchester United have reached the pinnacle of European football.
Celtic became the first Scottish and British club to win the cup the previous year.
United’s star player, George Best, was named European Footballer of the Year – just a fortnight after being named the football writers’ Footballer of the Year.
Tonight’s match at Wembley was watched by a crowd of 100,000 and an estimated 250 million TV viewers. It was the biggest television audience since the World Cup final two years before.
As both teams wear red kit, United opted to play in their blue away strip for the game.
The first half passed in a flurry of fouls before Bobby Charlton headed the opening goal in the second half to make it 1-0.
With only 10 minutes left to go, Benfica scored the equaliser – and very nearly won the match when their feared striker Eusebio broke away from Nobby Stiles, the player tasked with marking him, and blasted the ball towards the net.
But it was saved by keeper Alex Stepney and the game went into extra time.
Two minutes into extra time Best put United ahead again, slipping round the keeper and gently tapping it over the line.
It was followed by two more United goals, from 19-year-old Brian Kidd and captain Bobby Charlton, taking the final score to 4-1.
Manager Matt Busby said: “They’ve done us proud. They came back with all their hearts to show everyone what Manchester United are made of. This is the most wonderful thing that has happened in my life and I am the proudest man in England tonight.”
Busby was seriously injured in the crash which claimed the lives of his so-called Busby Babes and there was speculation at the time that the club had been so badly damaged it would have to fold.
But they struggled on to complete the 1958/59 season and when Busby returned to the manager’s role the following season he began the task of rebuilding the side.
The club won the league in 1965 and 1967, but today’s win marks the pinnacle of the club’s achievements.
Charlton and Bill Foulkes were the only survivors of the crash who played in today’s final.
Manchester United: Alex Stepney; Shay Brennan, Bill Foulkes, David Sadler, Tony Dunne; Pat Crerand, Bobby Charlton (c), Nobby Stiles; George Best, Brian Kidd, John Aston.
Substitute: Jimmy Rimmer Manager: Matt Busby
Scorers: Charlton 53, 99; Best 93; Kidd 94
Benfica: Jose Henrique; Adolfo Calisto, Humberto Fernandes, Jacinto Santos, Fernando Cruz; Jaime Graca, Mario Coluna (c), Jose Augusto; Jose Torres, Eusebio, Antonio Simoes
Manager: Otto Gloria
Scorer: Graca 75
Referee: Concetto Lo Bello (Italy)
On this day 29 May 1985 (Exactly 34 years ago) Juventus beat Liverpool 1-0 at Brussels to win their first European Cup.
Watched by a crowd of 58,000, the first half was goalless. Juventus took the lead in the 56th minute when Michel Platini scored from a penalty after Gary Gillespie was adjudged to have brought down Zbigniew Boniek in the penalty area, although the foul was actually committed nearly a yard outside the area and the referee was far from the action. The score remained the same throughout the remainder of the match and Juventus won 1–0, achieving their first European Cup win and became the first club to have won all three major European trophies (European Cup/UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League, and the Cup Winners’ Cup).
On this day 29 May 1991(Exactly 28 years ago) Red Star Belgrade beat Olympique Marseille 5-3 on penaltie to win the 35 edition of the European Cup at the Stadio San Nicola in Bari, Italy.
After normal time and extra time could not separate the two sides, the match was to be decided on penalty kicks. Manuel Amoros’s miss for the French side proved crucial, as Red Star held their nerve to win their first European Cup.
On this day 29 May 2017 (Exactly 2 years ago) Golf star Tiger Woods was arrested on a drink-driving charge in Florida early morning.
STORY: GEORGE MAHAMAH