1998 FIFA presidential election

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Candidate Sepp Blatter Lennart Johansson
Home state Switzerland Sweden
Popular vote 111 80
Percentage 58.12% 41.88%

President before election

Brazil João Havelange

Next President

Switzerland Sepp Blatter

The 51st FIFA Congress was held between 6 and 8 June 1998, at the Equinox congress hall in Paris, France, just before the start of the 1998 FIFA World Cup. It was the last biannual meeting of the international governing body of association football FIFA, since 1998 the congress has been held on an annual basis.[1] The congress saw the election of Joseph "Sepp" Blatter as the 8th President of FIFA who succeeded João Havelange. Havelange had held the presidency since 1974.[2][3]

1998 presidential election

Voting for the presidential election took more than three hours, with the Swedish football administrator and president of the European football governing body UEFA Lennart Johansson considered the favourite to win. Johansson's rival was the Swiss-German football executive Joseph "Sepp" Blatter who had previously been an executive at the Swiss watch manufactures Longines and had served as the general secretary of FIFA since 1981.[4] The first round of voting in the election did not produce an immediate victor (a two-thirds supermajority needed to avoid a second round), with Blatter receiving 111 votes to Johansson's 80, but Johansson conceded victory.[2][5][6]

Voting results

51st FIFA Congress
8 June 1998 – Paris, France
Candidate Round 1 Round 2
Switzerland Sepp Blatter 111 Winner
Sweden Lennart Johansson 80 Withdrew


  1. ^ Tom Dunmore (16 September 2011). Historical Dictionary of Soccer. Scarecrow Press. pp. 81–. ISBN 978-0-8108-7188-5.
  2. ^ a b "Blatter crowned Fifa president". BBC News Online. 5 June 1998. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  3. ^ Jon Garland; Dominic Malcolm; Mike Rowe (5 November 2013). The Future of Football: Challenges for the Twenty-first Century. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-30618-2.
  4. ^ Alan Tomlinson (3 April 2014). FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association): The Men, the Myths and the Money. Routledge. pp. 72–. ISBN 978-1-134-44438-0.
  5. ^ Alan Tomlinson (2005). Sport and Leisure Cultures. U of Minnesota Press. pp. 68–. ISBN 978-0-8166-3383-8.
  6. ^ Simon Kuper and Denis Campbell (21 March 1999). "Blatter crowned Fifa president". The Observer. Retrieved 28 May 2015.