The most powerful man in sports is understandably dating a woman who is 28 years his junior. Above is the honorable Sepp Blatter, 79, President of FIFA, soccer’s governing body, attending the World Cup 2014 with his 51-year-old girlfriend Linda Barras. The couple have been together since the beginning of 2014.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Despite the Allegations Against FIFA, Blatter & Barras Were Seen Smiling as They Attended FIFA’s Congress
The couple were seen attending FIFA’s 2015 Congress together. There, Sepp Blatter is expected to be elected to another term as president of the organization. This is despite the arrests this week of some of his closest colleagues at FIFA over longstanding corruption charges. It didn’t seem to bother Blatter, as all 5 foot 3 of him strode into the conference in Switzerland alongside his considerably taller girlfriend. Both Blatter and Barras are natives of Switzerland.
2. They Met Through Blatter’s Niece
Swiss tabloid Blick reports that Blatter attended a charity event in 2008 that was organized by Barras. The charity, La Nuit Des Neiges, was founded by Barras’ brother-in-law Francois Barras. Linda Barras was the president of the charity until 2014. A source also told Blick that Barras is a friend of Blatter’s niece.
3. Her Husband Thought He Was Still Married to Barras When News of Her Relationship With Blatter Emerged
According to Linda Barras’ husband, Christian, told Blick in 2014, when rumors about Blatter’s relationship first circulated, “I know nothing about this I’m still married to Linda.” Christian Barras is a real estate millionaire in Switzerland. The couple have two children together. Later, when speaking to the Daily Mail, Christian Barras described his Linda Barras as “a perfect wife and mother of to our two children.”
4. She’s Developed a Cult Following on Twitter
As pictures of the couple laughing and joking as they strode into the congress began circulating online, Linda Barras has developed her own cult following on Twitter.
5. Blatter Has Been Married 3 Times
Sepp Blatter has been quite the casanova of FIFA circles. He’s been married, three times, the first to Liliane Biner, produced his only child, Corinne Blatter. His second marriage was to Kaser Barbara, the daughter of a former secretary general of FIFA, which lasted until her tragic death in 1999. The last was to dolphin trainer Graziella Bianca, a union that ended in 2002. He was last linked to Police woman Ilona Bogusca.