Joseph (Sepp) BlatterJoseph (Sepp) Blatter was born on 10 March 1936 in Visp, a town in Switzerland near the famous Matterhorn Mountain.

Study and Jobs

He studied in Sion before gaining a degree as Bachelor of Business Administration and Economics from the Faculty of Law at Lausanne University. After his university years he had various job roles, such as head of public relations of the Valaisan Tourist Board, general secretary of the Swiss Ice Hockey Federation and director of sports timing and relations of Longines S.A. In the early seventies Sepp Blatter had a remarkable function: he was elected president of the World Society of Friends of Suspenders, an organisation which tried to stop women replacing suspender belts with panty hoses.

Blatter and Soccer

Blatter was an active football player from 1948 to 1971. He played in the top Swiss amateur league for FC Salgesch. After that he was until 1975 a member of the board of Swiss club Xamax Neuchatel.

Since 1975 Sepp Blatter has been working for FIFA, the world soccer federation. He started as technical director, until he was promoted in 1981 to the function of General Secretary. He was the assistant of FIFA president João Havelange from Brazil. On 8 June 1998 Joseph Blatter was elected as the successor to João Havelange as the eighth FIFA President.

He was re-elected as FIFA president in 2002 and celebrated another re-election in 2007. In December 2009 was granted another term by the members of the FIFA.

Blatter and Controversy

There was a lot of controversy around Sepp Blatter's 1998 election to the presidency of FIFA. There was much noise about re-election of Sepp Blatter in 2002. There were direct accusations of bribery and a lot of rumors of financial irregularities and backroom dealings.

In 2002, Michel Zen-Ruffinen, the general secretary of soccer's world governing body, included FIFA president Sepp Blatter in allegations of financial mismanagement within the FIFA organization. Blatter's former protégé raised in a 30 page report the possibility that Blatter was open to criminal investigation.

The allegations were backed by UEFA president Lennart Johansson and the dossier was handed to the Swiss authorities, but they cleared him of any wrong doing. An internal investigation with the FIFA organization was halted by Blatter, who removed Zen-Ruffinen from office immediately.

Some people also portray Blatter as someone with dictatorial tendencies. He regularly puts pressure on players, officials, clubs and national associations in order to get things his way. Furthermore, he also receives a lot of criticism for his tough stance on the use of video at soccer matches. Their use could ensure that important games are not affected by errors of the referees.