- Published: 02 June 2015
- Written by Staff Reporter
Sepp Blatter announced Tuesday that he is stepping down as FIFA president as the world's soccer governing body continues to be embroiled in scandal and controversy.
"I appreciate and love FIFA more than anything else, and I only want to do the best for football and for FIFA," Blatter said during a press conference.
Blatter said a new president will be elected "as soon as possible," but he will continue his functions until that happens.
"What matters to me more than anything is that when all of this is over, football is the winner," according to prepared remarks posted by FIFA.
Blatter had just been reelected on Friday. He said he ran for the unprecedented fifth term because he was "convinced it was the best option for football."
"This mandate does not seem to be supported by everybody in the world of football," Blatter said.
Blatter's announcement comes a day after the New York Times published a report that Blatter's number two, Jérôme Valcke, is believed by U.S. authorities currently conducting an investigation into FIFA's corruption, to have made transactions of $10 million. That money, it said, was part of a bribe in exchange for South Africa being awarded the host of the 2010 World Cup.
In his remarks, Blatter acknowledged that reform is needed.
"The challenges that FIFA is facing have not come to an end," he said. "FIFA needs a profound restructuring."
Some of those changes, Blatter suggested was the size of FIFA's executive committee, as well as a "limitation on mandates and terms of office" for both the committee and FIFA president.
"I have indeed fought for these changes, and my efforts have been counteracted," he said.
The next FIFA congress is scheduled to be held on May 13, 2016 in Mexico, but Blatter said to wait that long for a new president would "only delay matters." He called upon FIFA's executive committee "organize an extraordinary congress as rapidly as possible" to elect his successor.
Blatter said since he will not run "of course" he is "now free from the constraints of an election."
"I will be in a position to focus on implementing ambitious and profound reforms to follow on our initial efforts," Blatter said.