FIFA delegates have dealt a crushing blow to moves to bring in term limits and age limits for officials - effectively giving the green light to president Sepp Blatter to stand for a fifth term in office next year.
UEFA and a number of European federations, including the Football Association, had proposed bringing in limits but that was defeated in a vote at FIFA's Congress in Sao Paulo.
The decision leaves the way open for 78-year-old Blatter to stay in office next year - and for many years beyond.
Blatter faced calls from FA chairman Greg Dyke and a number of senior European members on Tuesday to keep to his 2011 pledge and step down next year, but he has made it clear to FIFA's 209 member nations that he intends to stand again.
The vote on limits came towards the end of a lengthy meeting where Blatter made the light-hearted suggestion that football could one day be played on other planets.
He also told delegates that the governing body was still involved in governance reforms.
He said: "We are still in our reform process but we are at the end," he said.
"Our basic values of football of discipline, respect and fair play could be brought in everywhere in the world then we would have realised our objective but our objective never finishes.
"From north to west to east and south . and we shall wonder if one day our game is played on other planets and then one day we won't have the World Cup, we will have interplanetary contests."