FIFA President Sepp Blatter gestures as he attends a news conference after a meeting of the FIFA executive committee in Zurich in this September 26, 2014 file picture. Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann
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FIFA President Sepp Blatter rejected an emotional plea to resign from one of the world's football greats Thursday as the corruption scandal engulfing the game's governing body drew warnings from sponsors and political leaders.As FIFA faced the worst crisis in its 111-year history, Michel Platini, the former French international who now heads UEFA, Europe's football confederation, said he had told Blatter to go but the 79-year-old had refused.Platini said 45 or 46 of UEFA's 53 eligible member associations would vote for Jordan's Prince Ali bin Al Hussein to succeed Blatter at an election due Friday.But it appeared that Blatter still commanded enough of FIFA's 209 member associations and could expect to be anointed for a fifth term as president.Despite FIFA assertions that it was business as usual following the arrest of seven senior figures on U.S. corruption charges, Blatter kept out of public view Thursday when he failed to show up at a medical conference.Blatter did, however, receive endorsement from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who accused the United States of meddling outside its jurisdiction by arresting FIFA officials.
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