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Football world reacts to Blatter resignation

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Jun 2015

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Sepp Blatter confirmed his resignation as president of FIFA on Tuesday, with plenty from around the world of football having their say in the aftermath of the news.

Blatter was re-elected for a fifth term at the head of the sport’s governing body on Friday but, amid allegations of corruption against members of the organisation, the 79-year-old – not currently under investigation – will stand down.

An Extraordinary Congress is expected to take place between December this year and March 2016.

 

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke was fully behind the decision, saying so in a statement on its official website. 

“We welcome today’s announcement and believe it is good news for world football and FIFA,” he explained.

“Change at the very top of FIFA is the necessary first step in delivering real reform of the organisation. 

“We will now commit ourselves to play whatever role we can to support a positive transformation of FIFA for the benefit of all its members.”

Similarly, Dutch football’s governing body the KNVB, reacted positively to the developments, having championed president and former candidate Michael van Praag as a potential alternative.

“Blatter is out! This is we were we fought for,” they stated via Twitter, before going further in a statement.

“Given the campaign conducted by Michael van Praag and the KNVB, it will be clear that the Netherlands Football Association welcomes Sepp Blatter’s resignation as president of FIFA.

“KNVB president Michael van Praag will attend next Saturday’s meeting of UEFA leaders in Berlin, ahead of the Champions League final. That meeting will discuss the new situation that has arisen within FIFA.”

Luis Figo was another to stand as a candidate to challenge Blatter before he, like Van Praag, pulled out of the race.

“A good day for FIFA and for football. Change is finally coming,” the former Portugal international posted on Facebook.

“I said on Friday that the day would come sooner or later. Here it is! Now we should, responsibly and calmly, find a consensual solution worldwide in order to start a new era of dynamism, transparency and democracy in FIFA.”

Like the Dutch authorities, DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach welcomed the news and suggested the decision should have been made sooner.

“This is a decision that is absolutely right and which is overdue. It’s actually a tragedy, when he himself and all of us could have been spared, that he would have done so earlier,” he told Bild.

“With the resignation, some, but not all, problems have been solved.”

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany offered a player’s view: “Blatter wasn’t sole responsible, more have to follow,” he said on Twitter.

“Transparency and voting reform, then we move on and bring back ethics.”

On a similar note, World Players’ Union FIFPro stated their members had a key role to play while also suggesting the resignation was positive for the sport.

“We are deeply committed to achieving this critical outcome in conjunction with all of the game’s key stakeholders,” said the organisation.

“FIFPro insists that only flawless governance will be acceptable to protect the wellbeing of the players and the integrity of the game.

“The reform effort will fail without the direct involvement of the players.”

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