BREAKING NEWS: Sepp Blatter resigns as FIFA president amid bribery scandal

  • Sepp Blatter has announced his intention to stand down as FIFA president
  • Says ‘extraordinary congress’ will be called to elect a his successor
  • Timetable has not been set but will likely take at least four months
  • Blatter will continue to serve as president until elections take place
  • Statement comes amid fresh revelations of corruption at football’s top level

Sepp Blatter has sensationally announced his intention to resign as the head of FIFA after a 17-year career that has ended in infamy.

In an astonishing announcement at FIFA HQ in Zurich this evening, Blatter revealed that he will call an emergency congress of FIFA executives to vote in his replacement.

While no timetable has yet been set for the election, officials have said it could take place any time between September this year and March next year. Blatter will continue in his role until then.

His resignation comes after 14 top officials at FIFA were charged with high level corruption by the FBI last week.

At a hastily organised press conference this evening, Blatter said: ‘I have been reflecting deeply about my presidency and about the forty years in which my life has been inextricably bound to FIFA and the great sport of football. I cherish FIFA more than anything and I want to do only what is best for FIFA and for football.

Sepp Blatter has announced he will stand down as FIFA president - though will continue in the role until an 'extraordinary congress' can be called to vote in a successor

Sepp Blatter has announced he will stand down as FIFA president – though will continue in the role until an ‘extraordinary congress’ can be called to vote in a successor

Blatter made the announcement at a hastily organised press conference this afternoon, saying he had made the decision after considering what was best for footbal

‘I felt compelled to stand for re-election, as I believed that this was the best thing for the organisation. That election is over but FIFA’s challenges are not. FIFA needs a profound overhaul.

‘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.

‘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.

‘The next ordinary FIFA Congress will take place on 13 May 2016 in Mexico City. This would create unnecessary delay and I will urge the Executive Committee to organise 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 just allow enough time for the best candidates to present themselves and to campaign.

Blatter told journalists gathered in Zurich this evening that 'what matters to me more than anything is that when all of this is over, football is the winner' before leaving the press conference (pictured)

Blatter told journalists gathered in Zurich this evening that ‘what matters to me more than anything is that when all of this is over, football is the winner’ before leaving the press conference (pictured)

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

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

‘Since I shall not be a candidate, and am therefore now free from the constraints that elections inevitably impose, I shall be able to focus on driving far-reaching, fundamental reforms that transcend our previous efforts.

‘For years, we have worked hard to put in place administrative reforms, but it is plain to me that while these must continue, they are not enough.

‘The Executive Committee includes representatives of confederations over whom we have no control, but for whose actions FIFA is held responsible. We need deep-rooted structural change.

‘The size of the Executive Committee must be reduced and its members should be elected through the FIFA Congress.

The ‘belated’ resignation of Sepp Blatter is ‘only the beginning of the process of change we need to see’
Culture Secretary John Whittingdale

‘The integrity checks for all Executive Committee members must be organised centrally through FIFA and not through the confederations. We need term limits not only for the president but for all members of the Executive Committee.

‘I have fought for these changes before and, as everyone knows, my efforts have been blocked.

‘This time, I will succeed. I cannot do this alone. I have asked Domenico Scala to oversee the introduction and implementation of these and other measures.

‘[Domenico Scala] is the Independent Chairman of our Audit and Compliance Committee elected by the FIFA Congress.

‘He is also the Chairman of the ad hoc Electoral Committee and, as such, he will oversee the election of my successor.

‘Mr. Scala enjoys the confidence of a wide range of constituents within and outside of FIFA and has all the knowledge and experience necessary to help tackle these major reforms.

‘It is my deep care for FIFA and its interests, which I hold very dear, that has led me to take this decision.

‘I would like to thank those who have always supported me in a constructive and loyal manner as President of FIFA and who have done so much for the game that we all love.

‘What matters to me more than anything is that when all of this is over, football is the winner.’

The ‘belated’ resignation of Sepp Blatter as Fifa’s president is ‘only the beginning of the process of change we need to see’, Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has said.

THE FALL OF A GIANT: HISTORY OF SEPP BLATTER’S CAREER

Sepp Blatter pictured in 2002, four years into his 17-year tenure at the head of world football's governing body

Sepp Blatter pictured in 2002, four years into his 17-year tenure at the head of world football’s governing body

Born on March 10, 1936 in the Swiss town of Visp.

Early Career

Graduated from the Sion and St Maurice colleges in Switzerland and then secured a Bachelor of Business Administration and Economics degree from the Faculty of Law at Lausanne University.

Was an active footballer from 1948-1971, playing in Swiss amateur leagues. He was a member of the board of Neuchatel Xamax soccer club from 1970-1975.

Blatter began his professional career as Head of Public Relations of the Valaisan Tourist Board in Switzerland and in 1964 became General Secretary of the Swiss Ice Hockey Federation.

As Director of Sports Timing and Public Relations at watch and timings firm Longines, he was involved in the organisation of the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games, getting his first taste of the international sports scene.

At FIFA

Became FIFA secretary general in 1981 and, after 17 years serving under Joao Havelange, replaced the Brazilian as president in 1998.

Faced trouble in 2002 when FIFA’s then secretary general Michel Zen-Ruffinen said Blatter’s 1998 election victory was based on bribery and corruption and that FIFA was being financially mismanaged at the highest levels. Blatter denied the allegations.

Beat Issa Hayatou of Cameroon, president of the Asian confederation, in the 2002 presidential election before being returned unopposed in 2007.

In 2004 Blatter attracted scorn from the women’s game when he suggested women players should wear tighter shorts.

Won a fourth term in 2011 when challenger Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar was barred from FIFA on bribery charges.

Blatter has survived a series of scandals during his term in office including widespread accusations that Qatar bought the right to stage the 2022 World Cup.

Qatar have always denied any wrongdoing.

Faced FIFA’s ethics committee in 2011 in the wake of the bribery scandal that led to Bin Hammam’s life ban. Blatter was never accused of being involved in the bribery, but there were allegations he know of its existence and did not act.

All charges against him were dismissed.

2015 Election

In 2011 Blatter said he would retire four years later, but instead sought a fifth term of office and won the election on May 29, 2015 after his only rival Prince Ali bin Al Hussein withdrew following a first round of voting where the Swiss was clearly in the lead.

Despite widespread calls for Blatter’s resignation after what was described as the worst day in FIFA’s history, when seven serving officials were arrested on bribery charges two days before the 2015 election, he told delegates: ‘Football needs a strong and experienced leader.

‘One that knows all the ins and outs and can work with our partners’.

Overcoming opposition from European soccer’s governing body UEFA, who threatened at one point to boycott the Congress, he was duly elected for another four years.

Blatter said on Tuesday at a hastily-arranged news conference that he would resign as president, six days after the FBI raided a hotel in Zurich and arrested several FIFA officials.

‘FIFA has been my life … what counts most for me is FIFA and football around the world,’ he said. ‘An extraordinary Congress is to be called to elect my successor as soon as possible.’

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/sportsnews/article-3107842/Sepp-Blatter-resigns-president-FIFA-amid-bribery-scandal.html

1 reply

  1. Taste of power is some what different. He could have gone with more honour and dignity if would not have contested the recent elections.

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