Sepp Blatter will resign as FIFA President as the organization faces a major corruption scandal. Blatter was re-elected to a fifth term as president on Saturday just days after the scandal broke. Blatter made the announcement on Tuesday.
“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.”
FIFA, soccer’s international governing body was plunged into scandal late last month after U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced indictments for 14 soccer officials for bribery and corruption charges.
“These individuals and organizations engaged in bribery to decide who would televise games, where the games would be held, and who would run the organization overseeing organized soccer worldwide,” said Lynch. “They did this over and over, year after year, tournament after tournament.”
One particularly egregious case that stands out is that of FIFA Executive Jack Warner who was on the FIFA committee that selected the host nation for the soccer World Cup.
Warner accepted a bribe for $10 million to vote in favor of South Africa, who wound up hosting the 2010 World Cup.
Due to FIFA’s rules and procedures surrounding elections, Blatter’s replacement might not be found until December, or even as late as next spring.
Blatter has been FIFA President since 1998.
[The Guardian][NY Times][Photo courtesy of the BBC]