Sepp Blatter has received backing from Caribbean and Central American countries at the CONCACAF congress, with one federation chief comparing the FIFA president to Nelson Mandela and Jesus.
Blatter received pledges of support from 10 federations as his bid for a fifth term as the head of the governing body gathers pace, with Trinidad and Tobago FA chief Raymond Tim Kee also praising him as the “father of football”.
The president of the Dominican Republic federation, Osiris Guzman, compared the 79-year-old to Moses, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King Jr as well as Jesus and Mandela.
Guzman was suspended by FIFA in 2011 for 30 days following an investigation into the allegations surrounding the cash for votes scandal at the governing body’s last presidential election.
The head of CONCACAF, Jeffrey Webb, said praise for Blatter at the congress was a sign that the incumbent president would continue to enjoy backing from the region in the upcoming election on May 29.
He said: “CONCACAF membership is sending a clear message that we will continue to support President Blatter.”
The heads of football federations from Jamaica, Haiti, Turks and Caicos, Cuba, Panama, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Puerto Rico also expressed support for Blatter.
The Swiss is running against Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al Hussein, former Real Madrid and Barcelona star Luis Figo and Dutch FA chief Michael van Praag.
Figo described the meeting as non-democratic, expressing anger that only Blatter was allowed to address the delegates, where he said that the region should be allocated an extra World Cup spot.
However, the opposing candidates said they had been working hard behind the scenes to secure votes in the region.