ZURICH, JUNE 1 (Sporting Alert) — Sepp Blatter has shockingly announced his resignation as FIFA president, but says he will stay on until the congress elects his successor.
The 79-year-old has been in charge since 1998.
The breaking news was announced as 5:45 local time in Zurich, on Tuesday, after Blatter called for an “extraordinary congress as rapidly as possible.”
“A new president will be elected to follow me,” he said. “I will continue to express my functions with FIFA until a new president is elected.”
Blatter, after being re-elected, said on Saturday he was looking forward to leading the sport governing body for another four years, but something happened in the last couple of hours that has significantly changed the outgoing president’s mind.
Four days after he was elected to govern world football again, Blatter said he doesn’t believe he will be able to continue as president for another full term and wants to step down.
Blatter said in a statement on Tuesday: “While I have a mandate from the membership of FIFA, 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.
“Therefore, I have decided to lay down my mandate at an extraordinary elective Congress. I will continue to exercise my functions as FIFA President until that election.”
No body in world football was expecting this, with FIFA announcing that a new president is to be elected between December and March.
A statement on FIFA.com read: “FIFA President Blatter today announced at a press conference in Zurich that he will lay down his mandate at an extraordinary elective Congress.
“Until that election, he continues to carry out his functions. The FIFA President also announced a significant reform programme to be driven by Domenico Scala, the Independent Chairman of our Audit and Compliance Committee.”