Sepp Blatter Resigns as FIFA President
photo from Antonio Cruz/ABr via Wikimedia Commons
On Tuesday morning, FIFA announced an impromptu press conference for 12pm EST. It was delayed for about 45 minutes and when it started Sepp Blatter took the stage to announce that he will be resigning as the FIFA President. Last Friday, Blatter was re-elected for his fifth term as FIFA President over Prince Ali.
This decision is something that many have been waiting for awhile. Yet, this decision was not expected today until he started talking on Tuesday. For Blatter it was the right decision and something that is needed as FIFA looks to reform changes as it looks to make changes after the scandal that broke last week. Blatter’s resignation is good for both FIFA and the game of football.
While it is unknown what will change with Blatter out as president, there will be a new election as soon as possible. Blatter at the press conference called for the Executive Committee to organize FIFA Congress to meet as soon as possible because the next scheduled meeting is not until May 2016 in Mexico. This would be too long to wait until a new FIFA President is elected. There must be four months notice for an extraordinary congress to meet so there are times for candidates to run and organized.
Therefore, there will be no FIFA President during either the 2015 Gold Cup or the 2015 Women’s World Cup, which kicks off on Saturday, June 6th.
This decision is shocking because no one expected Blatter despite the growing pressure on him. He has been the president of FIFA since 1998 and will remain in the role until a new successor is elected. During the press conference, it was made known that term limits for both FIFA President and Executive Committee members would be pushed for through governance moving forward.
For now this is a great day for FIFA. The alleged corruption was getting closer to Sepp Blatter as his No. 2 man Jerome Valcke was linked to bribes and corruption. This decision is step one to FIFA being reformed and cleaning up the beautiful game. Yet, there are many more steps to go that those in the soccer world are hoping for.
Blatter’s resignation could bring sweeping changes to FIFA, but the pressure needs to remain on FIFA to bring change and reform. It could result in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar be moved after Blatter so quickly defended the decision and said that it will talk place in Qatar during Winter months.
FIFA needs a total overhaul and Blatter is just a part of the problem. Yet, his resignation is the best move for FIFA given the current culture and scandal it is apart of it. Now moving forward FIFA’s structure needs to bring reform and change, which includes term limits for FIFA President and Executive Committee members.