Sepp Blatter to resign as FIFA president


© Reuters/Ruben Sprich
FIFA President Sepp Blatter arrives for a news conference at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, June 2, 2015.


Sepp Blatter has said he will resign as president of football's governing body, FIFA, at an extraordinary congress of the organization. The sensational announcement comes just four days after Blatter was reelected as FIFA boss for a fifth term.

"I cherish FIFA most of all and always try to do the best for football and the organization," Blatter said at a press conference in Switzerland. "I decided that I should keep running in elections. The election now is over, but the challenges remain. FIFA needs restructuring, the FIFA delegates have given me the mandate. But it is not supported by other members of FIFA, fans, clubs. Those who inspire FIFA like we do.Therefore, I ask to convene an extraordinary congress as soon as possible to elect my successor."

Blatter, who took charge of world football in 1998, said he would be carrying out the duties of FIFA president until the extraordinary congress.

The new congress will take place between December 2015 and March 2016, the chairman of FIFA's audit and compliance committee, Domenico Scala, has said. He has taken the floor after Blatter.

On Friday, 79-year-old Blatter won his fifth presidential term at FIFA after his opponent, Jordan's Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, withdrew before the voting went into a second round.

The Swiss official was elected amid a massive corruption scandal at FIFA, which was prompted by a wave of accusations against senior FIFA figures just days before the vote.

Fourteen FIFA officials and businessmen have been accused by the US of bribery, fraud and money laundering. Several were arrested in a Zurich hotel where they had gathered ahead of the organization's general meeting.

Swiss prosecutors are also investigating the awarding of the World Cups 2018 and 2022 to Russia and Qatar, respectively, to ascertain whether the votes were clean and legal.