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Sepp Blatter appears to have the votes needed to ensure he will continue as president of FIFA

Image: Sepp Blatter (left) has the backing of CAF president Issa Hayatou (right)

Sepp Blatter appears certain to be re-elected as FIFA president in May after African football bosses announced that he would receive the votes of all the federations on that continent.

At the Congress of African Football (CAF) Federations in Cairo, secretary general Nicholas Musonye and president Issa Hayatou both said Blatter could count on the 54 African votes.

Blatter already has the backing of the 46 Asian federations, and he needs just 105 federations to vote for him in order to secure a fifth term as president.

The 79-year-old has a strong base of support in Africa, which has traditionally voted as a block for him.

He was present for the opening of the CAF congress on Tuesday, as were his election challengers, FIFA vice president Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, Dutch FA head Michael van Praag, and former Portugal international Luis Figo.

In his opening comments, Hayatou said: “Dear Sepp, I want to reiterate that here in Africa you are never on some strange or hostile territory. You shall always be at home here, on this continent.

“Africa is comfortable having you, Africa stays with you.

"His action in favour of Africa speaks for him. To us, he is still the man of the situation."

With 54 of the 209 FIFA member countries eligible to vote in Zurich on May 29, Africa is the largest of the six continental confederations.

The praise Blatter received in Egypt contrasted to the treatment accorded him at the UEFA congress last month, when his presidency was criticized by the three candidates standing against him, and by some European officials.

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