17 years after, Blatter steps down as FIFA president
• Names Scala as emergency electoral committee chairman
THE crisis rocking the world football governing body, FIFA, yesterday got its biggest casualty when its President, Joseph ‘Sepp’ Blatter, bowed to pressure to step down from office.
Blatter was re-elected for another term in office on Friday, but he said yesterday that his mandate seems not to be supported by everybody.
He has already named Chairman, FIFA’s Independent Audit & Compliance Committee, Domenico Scala, as the emergency electoral committee boss.
It is a stunning development for the president of soccer’s largest organising body. Blatter was first elected in 1998 but with new developments in the corruption charges against FIFA, he felt it was time to quit
“I will call an extraordinary congress and a new president will be elected,” he said.
Explaining his decision to quit, Blatter said in a statement published by Fifa.co: “I have been reflecting deeply about my presidency and about the 40 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. 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 May 13, 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 must allow enough time for the best candidates to present themselves and to campaign.
“Since I shall not be a candidate, and I 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.