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Sepp Blatter wins FIFA presidential election

Our long international nightmare isn't over yet.

Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images

Despite the presence of a credible challenger with vocal support from some serious powers in world football, Sepp Blatter has been elected FIFA president for the fifth time. He defeated Prince Ali bin Hussein of Jordan in a vote held on Friday.

Blatter won a majority in the first round of voting, 133 to 73, with three votes declared invalid. Because there wasn't a two-thirds majority in favor of any candidate, a second round of voting was set to be queued up, but Ali conceded defeat, rendering it unnecessary.

In light of the massive scandal that emerged on Wednesday, in which multiple FIFA executives were arrested and indicted, Blatter's position was thought to be under threat. However, the result was far from certain -- while Blatter was always believed to have enough support from African and Asian confederations to win a majority vote, Ali had a lot of vocal supporters in the Americas and Europe.

On Thursday, U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati announced that he would support Prince Ali, seemingly with the support of the rest of CONCACAF. The first real cracks in Blatter's campaign began to emerge when Australia, a member of AFC, announced that they would also support Prince Ali, but the views of Gulati and Frank Lowy weren't shared by enough confederations to oust Blatter.

There were initially multiple challengers to Blatter, but they all decided to drop out and support Ali in the run-up to the election. Despite cries from his opponents to debate them or issue a platform, Blatter refused, claiming that the work he did as president was sufficient for people to know what he stood for.

While no one expects this result to affect the 2018 or 2022 World Cup, UEFA has said that they would explore all options for trying to clean up the game in the event Blatter was re-elected, including boycotting the World Cup. While he has never been charged with a crime, allegations of corruption will continue to plague Blatter's presidency, and he's going to have a tough time leading after this week's incidents. The U.S. Department of Justice, along with Swiss authorities, are still investigating potential criminal activity within FIFA.