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WORLD CUP DELEGATES READY TO SEPP TO IT! ELECTION HELD TODAY
Published June 8, 1998
The "direction of world soccer is on the line Monday as delegates from 198 nations cast secret ballots in Paris for their choice in the FIFA presidential elections," according to Steve Davis of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Outgoing FIFA President Joao Havelange is backing his Secretary General Sepp Blatter, who is opposed by European "soccer leader" Lennart Johansson (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/8). USA TODAY's Christopher Winner reports that Blatter "has gained significant ground" in the race as he has now recruited European "backers to pad out already strong Third World support." It was England's "defection to Blatter's camp on Friday ... that suddenly placed Johansson on the defensive." But Winner writes that "many observers insisted today's election is too close to call" (USA TODAY, 6/8). THE ROTHENBERG FILES: U.S. Soccer Federation President Alan Rothenberg was profiled by Joseph Gallivan of the N.Y. POST, who wrote that Rothenberg "is the envy of the international sports world for his uncanny ability to score the big bucks despite the [U.S.'] limited success on the field." Prior to '90, the USSF's budget was less than $1M, but now it is $25M, and Gallivan wrote that Rothenberg's legacy "will be that, through judicious marketing and administration, the United States can become the final piece in the global jigsaw that is soccer" (N.Y. POST, 6/7).