BREAKING: Blatter to resigns as FIFA President

 

 

READ FULL STATEMENT HERE >>>

The 79-year-old, who has held the post for 17 years, has stepped down in light of the corruption scandal which has blighted the world governing body.

Sepp Blatter has announced he will step down as president of Fifa, calling an extraordinary congress “as rapidly as possible” at which a successor will be selected.

The Swiss announced his decision at a hastily-arranged press conference on Tuesday after his secretary-general Jerome Valcke had earlier been implicated in the US Department of Justice’s investigations into a $10 million payment to indicted former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner.

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“I have thoroughly thought about my presidency and the 40 years Fifa has played in my life. I love Fifa more than anything else and I only want to do the best. I decided to stand again for election for the good of football,” he told the gathered media.

“My mandate does not appear to be supported by everybody. This is why I will call an extraordinary meeting.

“I will organise an extraordinary congress for a replacement for me as president. 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.

“We need a limitation on mandates and terms of office. I have fought for these changes but my efforts have been counteracted.”

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Rejoicing | Blatter was celebrating his re-election only four days before his resignation

Blatter has been president since 1998 and was re-elected for a fifth term only four days before his resignation.

However, the Fifa Congress at which he was given that mandate had been preceded by adverse publicity caused by the arrest of seven senior officials at a hotel in Zurich with a total of 14 people then indicted by the US Department of Justice under charges of racketeering, fraud and money laundering.

On the same day, Swiss authorities announced an investigation into corrupt practices by unnamed persons during the bidding process for the hugely controversial 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar respectively.

Elections to replace Blatter are set to be held between December and March.