Sepp Blatter has announced he is stepping down as president of FIFA, football’s governing body, and has called on a special congress to elect a successor. The news comes less than a week after Blatter was reelected as FIFA chief amid a bribery scandal.
Switzerland’s office of attorney general (OAG) said that it is not investigating Blatter in connection with the FIFA corruption probe.
“Joseph S. Blatter is not under investigation by the OAG. His announced resignation will have no influence on the ongoing criminal proceedings,” the attorney general is cited as saying by Reuters.
Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, who gave in to Blatter during the vote last Friday, will run in the new FIFA election for president, AFP reported.
Sepp Blatter has taken this step to save the organization, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has told the Tass news agency.
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.
Former Daily Show host, the very unfunny John Oliver made Sepp Blatter his personal White Whale, repeatedly calling out the FIFA President on his show with lengthy items detailing the FIFA corruption scandals.
On last Sunday’s show, Oliver begged FIFA sponsors – which include McDonalds, Adidas and Budweiser, to pull their support.
The Guardian as well as the Financial Times singled out South Africa. From The Guardian:
Blatter’s announcement comes after Fifa had admitted it paid $10million destined for the South Africa World Cup to an account controlled by the disgraced former vice-president Jack Warner. The payment followed a letter from the South African FA to Fifa secretary general Jérôme Valcke.
From the FT:
His resignation came at the end of another bruising day for Fifa, after one of his most senior lieutenants, Jérôme Valcke, was alleged to have had personal knowledge of a $10m payment at the heart of a US corruption probe.
Mr Valcke was the recipient of a letter from the South African football association on March 4, 2008, asking him to withhold $10m from the funding of the World Cup “operational budget” and for the money to be “advanced” to a fund controlled by the then “President of Concacaf”, Jack Warner.
The letter, which was shown on South African television, was confirmed by its South African signatory, Molefi Oliphant. “The copy is official,” he said. “That is the copy, you have it, so you can draw any opinion you want to. That is the correct letter,” he said.