Sepp Blatter to resign as Fifa president after 17 years in role
Asia Observer

Sepp Blatter to resign as Fifa president after 17 years in role

June 02, 2015     Published Time : 00:21:38

Sepp Blatter has announced that he was standing down as president of Fifa after a week of scandal engulfed football’s governing body.

Blatter, who has been president since 1998 and won a fifth term at last week’s elections, called an extraordinary congress “as soon as possible”, saying “a new president will be elected to follow me”.

“I will organise extraordinary congress for a replacement for me as president,” said the 79-year-old Swiss. I will not stand. I am now free from the constraints of an election. I will be in a position to focus on profound reforms. For many years we have called for reforms. But these are not sufficient.

“I have thoroughly considered and thought about my presidency and the last 40 years in my life. These years were closely related to FIFA and the wonderful sport of football. I appreciate and love FIFA more than anything else.

“I only want to do the best for Fifa and my institution. I decided to stand again as the best option for football. The elections are closed but the challenges we face haven’t come to an end.

“While I have a mandate from the membership of Fifa, I do not feel that I have a mandate from the entire world of football – the fans, the players, the clubs, the people who live, breathe and love football as much as we all do at Fifa,” continued Blatter in his statement.

Therefore, I have decided to lay down my mandate at an extraordinary elective Congress. I will continue to exercise my functions as Fifa President until that election.”

Domenico Scala, chairman of the Fifa audit and compliance committee, followed Blatter on to the stage to give details of the process for replacing the president, and future changes to the organisation.

“As the president has stated, these reforms will include fundamental changes to the way the organisation is structured,” said Scala.

Due to existing Fifa rules on the notice periods required for elections and for candidates to present themselves, the election may not take place until at least December.

“While the timing will ultimately be up to the executive committee, the timing of election is likely to be between December and March [2016].”

Scala went on to say that Fifa will consider wide-ranging changes to the structure of the executive committee, with further measures to ensure greater transparency.

“These steps will ensure that the organisation cannot be used by individuals seeking to enrich themselves at the expense of the game,” said Scala.

Blatter’s announcement comes after Fifa had admitted it paid $10million destined for the South Africa World Cup to an account controlled by the disgraced former vice-president Jack Warner. The payment followed a letter from the South African FA to Fifa secretary general Jérôme Valcke.

The Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has welcomed Blatter’s resignation, telling the BBC that it is “brilliant for world football”.

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