Blatter To Step Down, Says FIFA Needs Profound Overhaul

Blatter To Step Down, Says FIFA Needs Profound Overhaul
Sepp Blatter about to cut the ribbon to the international broadcast centre 2010 World Cup – Shine 2010 / Flickr CC BY 2.0
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Sepp Blatter has responded to calls of quitting after being defiant amidst charges of multimillion corruption against FIFA officials. Blatter is going to step down as soccer’s apex body’s chief only after the FIFA executive committee organizes fresh polls to elect his successor. His tenure lasted for 17 years.


Blatter did not specifically mention when the polls would be held, but said it should take place before the next World Congress 2016. There should be a 4-month notice among members according to the rules, clarified Domenico Scala, chairman of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee.

“The expectation is that this could take place anytime from December of this year to March of next year,” he said.

Speaking at Zurich, Blatter accepted that the reforms he initiated at FIFA over the years of his tenure hadn’t been enough.

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“I felt compelled to stand for re-election, as I believed that this was the best thing for the organization. That election is over, but FIFA’s challenges are not. FIFA needs a profound overhaul,” he said.

He also, “While I have a mandate from the membership of FIFA, I do not feel that I have a mandate from the entire world of football — the fans, the players, the clubs, the people who live, breathe and love football as much as we all do at FIFA.”

Michael Platini, who led the opposition against Blatter in the elections, criticized him in the past and asked him to quick was the first person to react. “It was a difficult decision, a brave decision, and the right decision.”

David Gill, the vice chairman of England’s Football Association that also supported Platini’s mission to oust Blatter, also welcomed the decision as “a major step forward for FIFA on the road to proper reform.”

Gill also resigned from FIFA’s executive committee after Blatter was re-elected on Friday. He said, “I simply could not countenance serving on the FIFA executive committee alongside Mr Blatter. I respect his decision but am pleased he is standing aside and by the clear determination for real change within FIFA. This in turn allows me to reconsider my position.”

With Blatter stepping down, Gill would consider his return to the committee.