BREAKING – Sepp Blatter to resign as FIFA President
In a shocking announcement at FIFA headquarters on Tuesday, newly elected President Sepp Blatter will step down as FIFA President after a staggering 17 years at the helm of football’s governing body. This announcement come in light of the recent corruption scandal that has surrounded FIFA this week after several of FIFA’s top officials were arrested by the US Government.
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But Blatter will not be stepping down immediately though. The 79-year old said that there will be a special FIFA Executive Committee which will convene an extraordinary elective Congress where a new President will be elected. This Congress is expected to happen between December 2015 and June 2016. Blatter is expected to continue his duties as President until the election, but he has confirmed that he will not be a candidate in that election.
This has been one crazy week at FIFA. It all started off with the shocking arrests of 9 top FIFA officials on account of corruption charges. The events put FIFA and Blatter under big-time scrutiny. There were calls for the FIFA Presidential Elections which scheduled to happen on Friday to be postponed in light of these arrests, but it went on as planned as Blatter got comfortably elected for a 5th term as FIFA President, a position he has enjoyed since 1998, only for him to announce his resignation within the first week of his 5th week in charge.
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In this sensational statement by Blatter, he admits FIFA needs major restructuring and the whole organisation needs an overhaul. Blatter has even called for term limits for all FIFA positions which is a surprising statement from a man who has thrived in his 17 years in charge of FIFA.
Here is the full statement issued by Sepp Blatter –
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. 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 must allow enough time for the best candidates to present themselves and to campaign.
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 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. Mr. 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.
MORE ON BLATTER TO FOLLOW….