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Sepp Blatter reelected: 'FIFA has lost,' former candidate says

Sepp Blatter was reelected president of FIFA on Friday in Zurich, Switzerland, despite the scandal that has rocked the organization.

After the scandal was revealed, UEFA President Michel Platini joined a chorus of others in demanding Blatter resign from his position. But the embattled Blatter carried on and will remain the head of the organization as extradition proceedings of some of his top aides are carried out.

Even though the election is completed, the message from the soccer world indicates pressure on Blatter to resign will continue.

"This isn't over by any means," Football Assn. Chairman Greg Dyke told the BBC. "The events of this week were so dramatic for FIFA, but I cannot see FIFA reforming itself under Blatter. He's had 16 years to reform it, but he hasn't done it.

"England won't withdraw from anything on its own and you can be absolutely certain about that. That would be ridiculous. There will be discussions I think in FIFA about this result and what FIFA should do next but that won't be England alone.

"This is the beginning, not the end. I think there is a lot more of this to play out."

Blatter, 79, failed to garner enough votes to win the presidency outright in the first round of voting, which required a two-thirds majority, but his opponent, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, withdrew before another round of voting, securing a fifth term as the head of FIFA for Blatter.

The world soccer governing body has come under fire following the indictment of 14 people, including high-ranking FIFA officials, on racketeering and fraud charges following a U.S. Justice Department investigation.

Luis Figo, at one time a candidate for the FIFA presidency, called the election of Blatter a "dark day in Zurich."

"FIFA has lost, but above everything, football has lost and everyone who truly cares about it has lost too," Figo, who withdrew from the election last week, told Sky Sports. "Football is not guilty but is the governing body's leaders, who should regulate it, that have no integrity or honesty."

U.S. Soccer released a statement congratulating Blatter on his reelection but cautiously warned it would still seek change within the organization.

"While we are disappointed in the result of the election, we will continue to push for meaningful change within FIFA," U.S. Soccer said in a statement. "Our goal is for governance of FIFA that is responsible, accountable, transparent and focused solely on the best interests of the game. This is what FIFA needs and deserves, and what the people who love our game around the world demand. We congratulate President Blatter and it is our hope he will make reform his number one priority to ensure the integrity of the game and provide a bright future for the sport across the world."

Before Friday's election, several South American nations decided to vote uniformly for Ali, Rodolfo D'Onofrio of the Argentine Football Assn. said.

"In Argentina we clearly thought that we needed a change and we voted for a change," D'Onofrio said. "I think CONMEBOL too, that was the previous agreements. I don't know what happened in the booth."

Longtime English soccer player and sports pundit Stan Collymore swiftly called for a boycott of FIFA.

Gary Lineker, another former English player and BBC broadcaster, echoed Collymore's sentiments.

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme

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