Why is Sepp Blatter resigning – and who will run Fifa now?

FIFA official is standing down after decades at the heart of world football's governing body

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The Independent Online

Sepp Blatter has announced that he is standing down as Fifa president - four days after being elected for a fifth term.

Why is Blatter resigning?

At a hastily called press conference, Mr Blatter said the organisation he has headed since 1998 needed an overhaul and “profound restructuring”.

“I have deeply reflected on my presidency and my past 40 years at Fifa," said Mr Blatter. “I love Fifa more than anything and I only want to do the best for football and FIFA.”

 

Why has he resigned now?

His resignation comes just four days after he was reelected to his fifth term as Fifa president and six days after FBI agents raided a Zurich hotel and detained several of the organisation’s officials. The Swiss authorities have also launched their own probe.

While Mr Blatter was not mentioned in either the US or Swiss investigations, there were widespread calls for him to quit, mostly from Western nations. Some major sponsors also expressed misgivings about the impact of the scandal, Reuters said.

How much was Mr Blatter impacted by allegations about those close to him?

The probe had got closer to him on Tuesday when Fifa was forced to deny that his right-hand man, Secretary-General Jerome Valcke, was implicated in a $10m payment that lies at the heart of the US case.

Who will run FIFA now?

Mr Blatter’s announcement come just days after he beat his only rival, Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, to become president once again. The Jordanian had withdrawn following a first round of voting where the Swiss veteran was clearly in the lead.

Mr Blatter said Fifa would call an “extraordinary congress” to elect another president as soon as possible. “Fifa has been my life ... what counts most for me is Fifa and soccer around the world,” he said.

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