Sepp Blatter, the most powerful man in all of sports, has decided to step down. Blatter is the president of FIFA and has ruled as president for almost 17 years. Earlier today FIFA called for an emergency press conference and to the surprise of many, Sepp Blatter decided to resign amid ongoing investigations into FIFA.
Last week at the FIFA Congress meeting, Sepp Blatter ran for president against Prince Ali bin Hussein of Jordan. Blatter had 133 votes (Of a 140 needed to win) while Prince Ali only received 73 votes. The next vote would have been just to get simple majority but, before the second vote, Prince Ali withdrew his name from the election giving Blatter another term as president. Most of the world was disappointed with the election as many people believed change was needed.
Blatter has been at the center of corruption scandals for many years and many people believed he should resign. Last week nine high-ranking FIFA officials and five other corporate executives were arrested in Zurich due to a investigation by the US Department of Justice. Many thought Blatter would also be arrested but he was not. There is a current investigation going on looking at Sepp Blatter and other members of FIFA.
The most controversial of Blatter’s decision as president was to award Russia the 2018 World Cup and Qatar the 2022 World Cup. Blatter has been said to rule FIFA in a dictator-like way that was hated by many fans and players. Under Blatters control FIFA’s reputation has become tarnished and it has become a corrupt organization and is a black cloud that rules over the beautiful game.
Today Blatter said, “I do not feel that I have a mandate from the entire world of football -the fans, the players, the clubs, the people who live, breathe and love football as much as we all do at FIFA.”
He continued to say, “Therefore, I have decided to lay down my mandate at extraordinary elective congress.” This means he will step down as president at a emergency meeting of the FIFA Congress.
Blatter later added, “It is my deep care for FIFA and its interests, which I hold very dear, that has led me to take this decision. I would like to thank those who have always supported me in a constructive and loyal manner as President of FIFA and who have done so much for the game that we all love. What matters to me more than anything is that when all of this is over, football is the winner.”
Blatter said that he has appointed Domenico Scala to “oversee the introduction and implementation” of the next president. Scala spoke at the press conference following Blatter. He said this about the presidents decison, “I know that he has truly acted with the best interests of FIFA and football in his heart.”
Scala went on to say, “By making this announcement, he (Blatter) has created an opportunity for us to go further than FIFA has before – to fundamentally change the way in which FIFA is structured”. Scala and the next president plan on completely changing the way FIFA operates.
The extraordinary meeting of the FIFA congress where the new president will be elected is expected to take place between December 2015 to March 2016.
As a fan of the game I am very happy with what occurred today and I hope that FIFA can become a more transparent and ethical organization. That starts by taking the World Cup away from Qatar and eliminating bribery and corruption among its members and leaders. This drastic change has made many fans happy and it should help change FIFA. The clouds that hang over FIFA should hopefully clear up leading to a bright and successful future.