FIFA President Sepp Blatter resigned on Tuesday night after 17 years at the helm, in a hastily arranged press conference in Zurich, as per a report in the Guardian.
Embattled by arguably the biggest FIFA scandal ever, Blatter said an ‘extraordinary congress’ would be called to elect a new FIFA president.
The media conference was sparsely attended, though it was announced just 90 minutes prior. Blatter’s announcement however came as a shock.
“I have thoroughly thought about my presidency and the 40 years FIFA has played in my life. I love Fifa more than anything else and I only want to do the best. I decided to stand again for election for the good of football,” said Blatter, beginning his speech.
“My mandate does not appear to be supported by everybody. This is why I will call an extraordinary meeting. “I will organise extraordinary congress for a replacement for me as president. I will not stand. I am now free from the constraints of an election,” he added.
Blatter claimed he had taken the decision to resign solely in the interest of FIFA and world football.
Ironically, Blatter called for a limitation on terms of office. “We need a limitation on mandates and terms of office. I have fought for these changes but my efforts have been counteracted,” he claimed. The FIFA President added that he would now be able to fully focus on ‘profound reforms’ in the sport, as the present ones were not sufficient.
Domenico Scala, the chairman of the FIFA Ad-hoc Electoral Committee, backed up Blatter. “I am dedicated to putting into place the conditions for the election of a new president. There will be reforms to how the elections are conducted. Under the rules governing Fifa, the election must be voted on by members at the Fifa congress. The president will ask the executive committee to form an extraordinary congress to elect a new president. While the timing will ultimately be up to the executive committee the timing of election likely to be between December and March.”
He added that ‘we will fundamentally reform the way in which people see FIFA’.