“Sepp Blatter has sensationally quit amid the bribery scandal that has consumed FIFA,” writes the U.K. Daily Mail.
He announced it at the Zurich FIFA headquarters at a hastily-called news conference. Blatter is currently under intense scrutiny as the FBI in the U.S. investigates whether bribes were authorized by soccer’s world governing body.
Blatter announced he will continue in the role until an “extraordinary congress” can be called to vote in a successor.
“…Although FIFA have given me a new mandate, it doesn’t seem to be supported by everyone – fans, clubs. Those who inspire FIFA like we do.”
The resignation announcement comes after a press on Tuesday that reportedly linked FIFA’s number two man – secretary general Jerome Valcke – to payments made in 2008 that investigators believe amounted to $10 million in bribes. FIFA said in a statement that the payments were approved in 2007 by the chairman of FIFA’s finance committee at the time, Julio Grondona, write The New York Times.
“I only want to do the best for FIFA and my institution,” said Blatter in Zurich. “I decided to stand again as the best option for football. The elections are closed but the challenges we face haven’t come to and end. FIFA needs restructuring. Although FIFA have given me a new mandate, it doesn’t seem to be supported by everyone – fans, clubs. Those who inspire FIFA like we do.
“This is why we will cause a process, it will be held to. I will continue to exercise my function as president at FIFA until next time. The new elections will be held until in Mexico.
“I will not stand of course and I am free from the constraints of an election. I will be free to focus on an election.
Blatter’s 17-year reign as FIFA’s top official has looked increasingly untenable since the FBI charged 14 officers with high-level corruption last week.
He reportedly would like to recommend term limits for the FIFA presidency. “We need a structutual change of profile change. We need to look at the profiles and attitude of all the members. We need limitations on mandate in terms of office presidency…,” he said.