Zurich, June 2 (IANS): FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Tuesday announced he will step down from football’s governing body amid a corruption scandal, and also called for an extraordinary congress “as early as possible” at which a successor will be elected.
The Swiss announced his decision at a hastily-arranged press conference on Tuesday after his secretary-general Jerome Valcke was earlier implicated in the US Department of Justice’s investigations into a $10 million payment to indicted former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, reports goal.com.
“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,” Blatter said.
“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. 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.”
Blatter has been president since 1998, and was re-elected for a fifth term only four days before his resignation.