The Norwegian Football Federation (NFF) confirmed in a press release on Thursday afternoon that would vote for Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein of Jordan when the international football federation hold its election for its next president on Friday.
“It’s completely unthinkable to vote for Blatter,” NFF president Yngve Hallén told Dagbladet after the decision was announced. “As the situation has evolved in Fifa, the organisation cannot be credible with Blatter as leader. The organisation needs a new leader.”
In the immediate aftermath of the shock arrest of seven senior Fifa officials on corruption charges in Zurich, Hallén vacillated, suggesting that the NFF might support Blatter if Uefa stood behind him.
Frode da Costa Lia, editor of the Norwegian football magazine Josimar, said that it would be “simply embarrassing” if Hallén ended up supporting Blatter despite the allegations of large-scale corruption that have hit Fifa under his tenure. “I am simply embarrassed that Hallén could reel off something so stupid,” he said.
Blatter was defiant as he opened Fifa's annual congress on Thursday evening, saying he could not be blamed for the corruption controversy.
”The next few months will not be easy for Fifa,” the 79-year-old said. “I am sure more bad news will follow but it is necessary to begin to restore trust in our organization. We cannot allow the reputation of football and Fifa to be dragged through the mud any longer — it has to stop here.”
Blatter's speech came only hours after Uefa president Michel Platini made an emotional call for him to resign.
At the press conference, Platini said that he believed that it was still possible that enough of Fifa’s 209 members would back Prince Ali that Blatter could be deposed.
“I think he can be beaten, yes. Before yesterday no, but after what happened yesterday, yes. Enough is enough. I think there will be a lot of changes.”
Platini said on Thursday that he was confident that at least 45 of the 53 countries in Uefa would back Prince Ali. These votes will not, however, be enough in themselves to crown the Jordanian royal as the organization's new head.