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Embattled FIFA President Sepp Blatter survives to fight another day

Sepp Blatter, the president of world soccer's governing body, looks likely to be re-elected today despite a wave of corruption allegations that have rocked the sport.

The AP reports from Zurich, Switzerland:

President Sepp Blatter promised to give more power to the 208 national federations at the expense of the restricted executive committee if FIFA's congress re-elects him on Wednesday.

There remained little doubt that the Swiss executive would get a fourth and final four-year term after England's call for a postponement of the election amid soccer's corruption scandals was overwhelmingly rejected.

Blatter's only challenger, executive committee member Mohamed bin Hammam, withdrew over the weekend before being suspended on bribery allegations.

Hours ahead of the election, Blatter told his Congress that the worst scandal in the body's history could be solved within FIFA itself with him in charge.

England's FA chairman David Bernstein had called for a postponement of the election for several months to allow for the corruption scandals to be cleared up, saying that "a coronation without an opponent provides a flawed mandate."

However, 172 of the 208 delegations rejected England's call.

The overwhelming margin left little doubt that Blatter would easily be re-elected later Wednesday. The Swiss executive said that getting the world body to recover from the damaging scandals would be his major task.

"We have been hit and I personally have been slapped," Blatter said of the criticism and allegations facing FIFA and himself. "I don't want that ever again."