FIFA President Sepp Blatter has announced that he is to step down from the position he has held after 17 years.
The news announced at FIFA HQ in Switzerland on Tuesday afternoon followed the investigations taking place, involving other leading officials in the world’s footballing body.
1) Blatter’s fall is like the end of communism: a joyous day, but transition to a liberal order is a stretch, perhaps impossible
— Franklin Foer (@FranklinFoer) June 2, 2015
Those investigations are on the allocating of votes for the next two World Cups in Russia and Qatar. Thanks to investigative journalists, the organisation has been held to account and many officials have been arrested or indicted.
A separate investigation has begun after emailed confirmation of bribes received by Blatter’s right-hand man and General Secretary Jerome Valcke. The payments were $10million from the South African FA to bribe votes for their 2010 World Cup bid. This is the first time that the 79 year-old has been so close to the evidence of money laundering.
Having been re-elected as President last week after a second-round of elections, the news of resignation was a shock to all members of the football world. But Blatter shifted the blame away from his executives and onto the organisations beneath FIFA.
“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.”
Blatter went on to add: “The size of the Executive Committee must be reduced… Integrity checks must be organised centrally through FIFA and not through the confederations.”
With Blatter no longer at the helm but with promises to centralise FIFA’s control, the next President will have to thank the leader who attempts to leave a lasting mark on the Football world.
What next for FIFA?
Prince Ali has already made his intentions clear that he wants to re-run for the role after being the main rival for Blatter during the last election. The brother to King Abdullah of Jordan is the founder and president of the West Asian Football Federation. Currently the Vice President of FIFA, he seems like the most likely successor to Blatter.
Other candidates include Michael Platini, the head of UEFA who threatened to boycott FIFA after the recent money laundering and racketeering investigations.
But the biggest UK news to come from the resignation is that David Gill is reconsidering his position at the football body. The former Manchester United Chief Executive was due to be named Vice President before Blatter was re-elected.
After not taking the position, Gill hasn’t ruled out a possible re-think and to join the FIFA that is expected to see major reform in the next year.