Washington, DC (nsnbc) – During a press conference in Zürich the newly re-elected FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced that he will lay down his mandate at an extraordinary elective Congress. Blatter stressed his devotion to FIFA, saying that he stepped down for the benefit of the organization and football. The development comes against the backdrop of a highly politically charged FBI-led investigation against FIFA officials.
Blatter told the press that he will continue to carry out his functions until the elections. Simultaneously Blatter announced that FIFA would launch a significant reform program to be driven by Domenico Scala, the Independent Chairman of our Audit and Compliance Committee. Sepp Blatter issued a written statement, saying that he had reflected deeply about his presidency and that his life for the last fourty years has been inextricably bound to FIFA and the great sport of football.
He added that he cherishes FIFA more than anything and that he wants to do only what is best for FIFA and for football. Blatter said he felt compelled to stand for re-election, as he 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. He explained his decision to step down, saying:
“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.”
Blatter‘s decision comes in the wake of an unprecedented FBI-led anti-corruption investigation in cooperation with Swiss police and the arrest of 14 FIFA officials on corruption charges.
While there is a general consensus that FIFA indeed needs an overhaul, it was the fact that it was the FBI that led the investigation and the fact that the sting operation resulted in politically positioning games along what is reminiscent of cold-war-like divides that prompted international criticism.
F/AK – nsnbc 03.06.2015
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