Joseph "Sepp" Blatter (born 10 March 1936) is a Swiss football administrator who served as the eighth president of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) from 1998 to 2015.
From a background in business, public relations, and sports administration, Blatter became general secretary of FIFA in 1981 and was then elected president at the 51st FIFA Congress on 8 June 1998, succeeding João Havelange, who had headed the organization since 1974. Blatter was re-elected in 2002, 2007, 2011, and 2015. Like his predecessor Havelange, Blatter sought to increase the influence of African and Asian countries in world football through the expansion of participating teams in various FIFA tournaments.
He has persistently been dogged by claims of corruption and financial mismanagement. Blatter's reign has overseen a vast expansion in revenues generated by the FIFA World Cup accompanied by the collapse of the marketing company International Sport and Leisure and numerous allegations of corruption in the bidding processes for the awarding of FIFA tournaments.
On 2 June 2015, six days after the United States government indicted several current and former FIFA officials and sports marketing companies for bribery and money laundering, Blatter announced that he would call for elections to choose a new president of FIFA and that he would not stand in these elections, but he also said he would remain in his position until an extraordinary FIFA Congress could be held for his successor to be elected. Criminal proceedings were announced against Blatter by the Swiss Attorney General's office on 25 September 2015, regarding "criminal mismanagement... and misappropriation".
In October 2015, Blatter and other top FIFA officials were suspended amid the investigation, and in December the independent FIFA Ethics Committee ejected Blatter from office and banned him from taking part in any FIFA activities over the following eight years. On 24 February 2016, a FIFA appeals committee upheld the suspension but reduced it from eight years to six. Issa Hayatou served as the acting President of FIFA until an extraordinary FIFA Congress was held in late February, electing Gianni Infantino as the 9th president of FIFA.