Cleat Geeks

Blatter to resign as FIFA president

Sepp Blatter announced today that he is to resign as president of football’s governing body, FIFA.

The shocking move comes just four days after the 79 year-old was elected to be the head of the organisation for a fifth term.

FIFA has been rocked in recent weeks by a corruption scandal that has seen seven current serving officials arrested on charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering with a total of 14 people being indicted by US prosecution.

A seperate criminal investigation is also underway into how the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded.

On Tuesday the New York Times reported that several US Officials had anonymously confirmed to them that Blatter was now a subject of the ongoing investigation: “…in their efforts to build a case against Mr. Blatter they were hoping to win the cooperation of some of the FIFA officials now under indictment and work their way up the organization.”

The Swiss national said today at a hastily arranged press conference: “Members of FIFA have given me the new mandate of re-electing me president, but this mandate does not seem to be supported by everyone.”

Ahead of last Friday’s presidential election, Michel Platini, head of UEFA – European football’s governing body – asked Blatter to stand down from his post. Platini reacted to the news of Blatter’s resignation as “a difficult decision, a brave decision, and the right decision.”

The English Football Association has also been vocal in calling for Blatter to stand down. It’s chairman, Greg Dyke, said of today’s announcement; “This is great news for football. It should have happened years ago.”

“There has to be a root-and-branch investigation of Fifa. It has all got to be transparent in the future.”

Blatter, who has held the role since 1998, called for “an extraordinary congress for the election of my successor at the earliest opportunity.

“This will need to be done in line with Fifa’s statutes and we must allow enough time for the best candidates to present themselves and to campaign.”

Early indications are that this extraordinary congress will be held sometime at the end of 2015 and the beginning of next year.

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, who withdrew his bid to become FIFA president after losing the first round of voting in last Friday’s election, suggested he is still willing to stand for the post at the congress; “I am always there to serve football and I think that’s the most important thing and to do so much work to fix this organisation in a proper way.”

Meanwhile, a letter was published that suggested that FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke was aware of a $10 million payment the FBI claim was given to Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer.

letter

 

Valcke is accused of signing-off the payment from the South African government, which was allegedly made in return for the pair to vote for the country to host the World Cup in 2010, to disgraced former vice-president Warner and his assistant, although FIFA released a statement strongly denying Valcke’s involvement.

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