FIFA President Sepp Blatter has just announced that he will be stepping down from the position amidst the widespread scandal that the governing body is currently embroiled in.
As of late football’s governing body has been hit by two corruption inquiries. Seven Fifa officials have been arrested in Switzerland at the request of the US authorities after a total of 14 people were indicted for corruption. The amounts involved are alleged to be above $150m.
The American indictments – which focus on corruption allegations going back to 1991 – are the most serious, as they could potentially lead to prison terms. As well as the seven people arrested in Zurich, indictments were issued for seven others. The Swiss criminal case is still at the investigative stage but could provide revelations about the allocation of the forthcoming World Cups.
After 17 years in the role, Blatter announced his decision at a news conference called by the organization. He announced that there would be extraordinary congress of Fifa that will elect a new candidate to fill the role.
“I will organize extraordinary congress for a replacement for me as president,” said Blatter. “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.”
Domenico Scala, chairman of the Fifa audit and compliance committee, followed Blatter on to the stage to give details of the process for replacing the president, and future changes to the organization.
“As the president has stated, these reforms will include fundamental changes to the way the organization is structured,” said Scala.
Due to existing Fifa rules on the notice periods required for elections and for candidates to present themselves, the election may not take place until at least December.
“While the timing will ultimately be up to the executive committee, the timing of election is likely to be between December and March .”