He turned a football club with eleven employees into an influential global corporation with over 450 permanent employees

Sepp Blatter

Former-President, FIFA, Zurich, Switzerland

Why you should listen

After teaching and traveling years in the Swiss Ice Hockey Federation as Central Secretary and in the private sector as Sport and Marketing Director of Longines, Joseph “Sepp” Blatter found his appointment in sport policy.

In 1975, he joined FIFA as Director of Development Programs. He turned the club with eleven employees into a global corporation with over 450 permanent employees. He was elected the eighth FIFA President in 1998. During his time as President, he brought the World-Cup-Final to Asia and Africa.

He ushered in the development of the game into a global billion dollar business with the “marriage” between television and football. When he had to resign in 2016, FIFA stood with a fortune of $1.5 billion. He believes that “Football is much more than just kicking a ball. It connects cultures, ethnic groups, and social classes. Everyone is the same in the football pitch. ”

Due to controversial payments to Michel Platini, a French former football player, manager and administrator, Sepp was suspended until 2021 for all football activities. But his personal fight continues.

Sepp Blatter was born in Valais, Visp. He studied Economics and gained the rank of regiment commander in the Swiss army.

Hear Sepp at Worldwebforum 2020 as he talks about his interesting journey to the top and rise from a much-publicised fall.

About FIFA

Founded in 1904, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is the umbrella organisation of its members, currently 211 national football associations. Its main objectives, enshrined in its statutes, are to develop football around the world, to stage international competitions and to protect the integrity of football (against match manipulation, doping etc.).

FIFA is composed of a number of political bodies (such as the FIFA Congress and the FIFA Council) and the administration. The highest political position is the FIFA President, elected every four years by FIFA’s member associations. The FIFA administration, with some 720 people from over 50 nations, is based in Zurich. It is run by the Secretary General (CEO).

FIFA stages FIFA World Cups™ in various forms such as youth, men’s and women’s, futsal, beach soccer or club competitions. The men’s FIFA World Cup™ is not only the most popular single sporting event in the world but also the financial backbone for FIFA and its efforts to develop football worldwide.

The financial success of the FIFA World Cup™ allows FIFA to run a wide range of football development programmes and to provide funds, infrastructure and know-how to its member associations through the FIFA Forward Development Programme.



On 8 June 1998 Joseph S. Blatter was elected as successor to Dr João Havelange, becoming the eighth FIFA President. His victory at the 51st FIFA Ordinary Congress in Paris elevated the Swiss, who had already served FIFA in various positions for 23 years, to the highest position in international football.

During his tenure, FIFA heavily strengthened its football development activities across the globe and its ability to impact society beyond the field of play by instigating a variety of educational, health and social programmes.

Under his stewardship, the organisation widely expanded its portfolio of tournaments by adding the FIFA Club World Cup, the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

On 2 June 2015 Blatter announced that he would be laying down his mandate at an extraordinary elective Congress, which took place on 26 February 2016 in Zurich.