Fifa president Sepp Blatter furious after comedian stages ‘protest’ against his reign following corruption scandal.
Fifa president Sepp Blatter was showered with fake banknotes by a notorious prankster at a press conference in his Zurich headquarters. The comedian Lee Nelson – real name Simon Brodkin – managed to infiltrate the press conference, which was being held to announce reforms planned to world football’s governing body, and a date for the presidential election.
He steps forward to the dais where Blatter is sitting and tries to present him with a wad of banknotes…
…Nelson says: “Sepp, this is for North Korea in 2026” before Blatter summons security guards to intervene.
As Nelson is being led away, he throws the notes in the air, which fall around a visibly furious Blatter before he gets up and walks out of the room. Nelson then issues a parting shot at Blatter, saying: “Cheers, Sepp – it’s all there”.The press conference was delayed by around 10 minutes as organisers cleaned up the notes. Nelson is a renowned stage invader. At this year’s Glastonbury Festival the prankster ran onto the Pyramid Stage during Kanye West’s headlining set and started leaping around and rapping along with the star, who stopped singing to beckon security. A guard promptly tackled Nelson off the stage. In June 2014, Nelson made headlines when he attempted to join the England World Cup squad as they flew from Luton Airport to Miami for the start of their training camp. Later, Nelson was pictured on Twitter being driven away in a Swiss police van.
Earlier, Fifa had announced it will hold a special congress to elect Blatter’s successor on February 26 next year – meaning he is set to remain in power for another seven months.
An extraordinary meeting of Fifa’s executive committee decided on the date of the election despite Uefa members having pushed for an earlier date.
Candidates for the position will have to be nominated before October 26 – Uefa president Michel Platini has emerged as the favourite after being urged to run by four of the six Fifa confederations.
Platini has yet to make a final decision but sources say Asia has swung behind Europe, South America and Concacaf in supporting the Frenchman to succeed Blatter.
Platini held talks in Zurich on Sunday night with Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, and as significantly with Kuwait’s Fifa executive member Sheikh Ahmed Al Sabah of Kuwait.
If Blatter does stay in power until February 26 – and several Fifa figures including Platini and England’s David Gill want him to quit as soon as possible – it means he will have worked at Fifa for 40 years.
The life and times of Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter has shocked the world of football by standing down as Fifa President. We look at how he rose to power and the controversies which damaged his reputation.