[:en]FIFA President to quit amid corruption scandal[:]

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Mr. Sepp Blatter has announced he will step down as president of FIFA, calling an extraordinary congress “as rapidly as possible” at which a successor will be selected.

The Swiss announced his decision at a hastily-arranged press conference on Tuesday after his secretary-general Jerome Valcke had earlier been implicated in the US Department of Justice’s investigations into a $10 million payment to indicted former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner.


“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,” he told the gathered media.

“My mandate does not appear to be supported by everybody. This is why I will call an extraordinary meeting.

“I will organise an 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.”

The latest allegations of corruption against FIFA involved reports claiming general secretary, Valcke was responsible for an alleged $10m (£6m) payment of bribes over South Africa’s bid to host the 2010 World Cup.

Blatter, 79-year old was re-elected last week, despite seven top FIFA officials being arrested two days before the vote as part of a US prosecution.

His resignation came less than a week after Swiss police arrested seven FIFA officials, including two vice presidents, at a Zurich hotel.

The arrests were carried out on behalf of US prosecutors who accuse the seven, and eight other suspects, of involvement in $150 million of bribes.

 

Nnenna.O

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