FIFA president Sepp Blatter says he will resign from soccer’s governing body, and has called for an extraordinary congress to elect his successor. However the extraordinary congress will not occur until December 2015 to March 2016. So Blatter will remain FIFA President for at least the next six months.
In the meantime the shredders can work full time for 6 months whilst Blatter supposedly “cleans up” FIFA. Further will Blatter really resign in six months time or will it be another one of his many backflips?
‘I will organise an extraordinary congress for a replacement for me as president,’ he said at a hastily convened press conference in Zurich on Tuesday.
‘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.’
Blatter will carry out his functions as FIFA president until a successor is elected.
The decision came on a day when it emerged that US authorities investigating corruption believe FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke was the top FIFA official behind a payment of $US10 million ($A13.15 million) to accounts controlled by a former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, who is now under criminal investigation.
Authorities are investigating the transfer of the sum, paid by FIFA on behalf of 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa, which had been unable to pay directly from government funds.
At the Zurich press conference, Scala said that based on FIFA statutes a four-month notice is required for any presidential elections to be held.
FIFA also needed time to vet potential candidates and for the candidates to present their ‘vision’ for FIFA.
‘The timing of the extraordinary FIFA congress will ultimately be up to the executive committee and likely to be between December and March,’ he said.
Scala said he was ‘dedicated to putting into place the conditions for the election of a new president. There will be reforms to how the elections are conducted’.
He added: ‘FIFA is determined to address the issues that are afflicting FIFA. We want to fundamentally reform the way in which people see FIFA’.
In a first reaction, UEFA president Michel Platini, seen as a possible candidate to replace Blatter, said of Blatter’s decision: ‘It was a difficult decision. A brave decision. The right decision’.
The dramatic developments came on a day when FIFA had been moved to explain a payment of the $US10 million to accounts held by Warner, part of the US investigations and indictments made last week.
The US indictments do not identify Valcke, the right-hand man to Blatter at FIFA, as a co-conspirator or say the high-ranking official knew that the money was being used as a bribe, the Times report said.
Warner, the former head of the Central and North American soccer body CONCACAF, was one of 14 people indicted in the United States last week on bribery and corruption charges.
Warner is alleged to have taken a bribe in exchange for helping South Africa secure the right to host the 2010 World Cup.
In a statement earlier in the day , FIFA said the money was paid to Warner following a request by the South African government to ‘support the African diaspora in Caribbean countries as part of the World Cup legacy’.
FIFA said the $US10 million was authorised by the then chairman of the finance committee, the late Julio Grondona, and ‘executed in accordance with the Organisation Regulations of FIFA’.
Valcke meanwhile will not be traveling to Canada as planned for the opening game Saturday of the women’s World Cup, FIFA said.
A spokeswoman said that ‘due to the current situation’ it was important for Valcke to attend matters at FIFA headquarters in Zurich South African has denied paying a bribe to Warner in connection with the 2010 World Cup.
Warner, a Trinidad and Tobago politician, is facing extradition to the United States on bribery and racketeering charges.
Fourteen present and former FIFA officials and corporate executives have been charged by the US justice department in connection with bribery, corruption and money laundering.