Walter De Gregorio reportedly 'forced to quit' after making Fifa joke as Sepp Blatter's senior aide leaves his role 'with immediate effect'

Statement says De Gregorio has resigned as director of communications and public affairs after a video has been released that appears to show him making a joke about Fifa

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The Independent Online

One of Sepp Blatter's most senior aides Walter De Gregorio has resigned from his role at Fifa with immediate effect.

However, it has been reported that De Gregorio, director of communications and public affairs, was “forced to quit” after making a joke about Fifa on Swiss TV.

A video emerged of De Gregorio on the Roger Schawinksi show where he made a joke referencing the current FBI investigation into alleged corruption among Fifa.

De Gregorio said: “The Fifa president Sepp Blatter, the director of communications and the general secretary are all sitting in a car – who is driving?”

Schawinski replied: “The answer is?” De Gregorio responded: “The police.”

 

 

Watch De Gregorio make the joke in the video below (forward to 32:00):

 

The joke appears to refer to the outgoing Fifa president Sepp Blatter, general secretary Jerome Valcke and himself.

 

A statement from Fifa said that De Gregorio has decided to step down from his role.

"Walter De Gregorio has decided to relinquish his office with immediate effect as director of communications & public affairs,” read the statement.

"Mr De Gregorio joined Fifa on September 14, 2011 and will serve Fifa on a consultancy basis until the end of this year.

"His deputy Nicolas Maingot will resume the role ad interim."

The statement also contained a thank you from Valcke and praise for what he has down since taken on the job in 2011.

"Walter has worked incredibly hard for the past four years and we are immensely grateful for all he has done," he said.

"I am glad we will be able to continue to draw on his expertise until the end of the year."

Fifa.jpg
Marco Villiger, Jerome Valcke, Sepp Blatter, and De Gregorio

De Gregorio introduced Blatter to the press conference where he confirmed he would be resigning from his role as president of Fifa on 02 June, just four days after beating Prince Ali bin al-Hussein in the presidency election at the Fifa Congress in Zurich last month.

Having won a fifth term as president, Blatter made the astonishing announcement less than a week after seven Fifa officials were arrested in the Swiss city as part of an FBI and Swiss led investigation into corruption charges.

18 current and former Fifa members have been indicted since the arrests were made at the end of May.

The Independent has contacted Fifa for clarification over De Gregorio's departure.

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