Acting FIFA president Issa Hayatou has stated he will not contest the presidency on a permanent basis, insisting he will replace the suspended Sepp Blatter as an interim measure only.
Hayatou – as the longest-serving vice-president on FIFA’s Executive Committee – is to serve as interim president following Blatter’s 90-day suspension.
FIFA announced on Thursday that Blatter, alongside presidential candidate Michel Platini and general secretary Jerome Valcke, had been suspended following approval by the governing body’s adjudicatory chamber of a recommendation made by the organisation’s ethics committee.
It follows allegations that Blatter signed an “unfavourable” contract with the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) in 2005, one that experts claim handed over World Cup television rights for a fraction of their market value.
The 79-year-old Swiss is also accused of making a “disloyal payment” in 2011 to UEFA chief Platini for work carried out for FIFA by the former France international. Both deny any wrongdoing.
In a statement, Hayatou said: “Today, amid extraordinary circumstances, I have assumed the office of FIFA President pursuant to Article 32 (6) of the FIFA Statutes.
“I will serve only on an interim basis. A new President will be chosen by the Extraordinary Congress on 26 February 2016. I myself will not be a candidate for that position.
“Until the Extraordinary Congress, I pledge that I will dedicate my best efforts to the organisation, the member associations, our employees, our valued partners, and football fans everywhere.
“FIFA remains committed to the reform process, which is critical to reclaiming public trust. We will also continue to cooperate fully with authorities and follow the internal investigation wherever it leads.
“Football has never enjoyed greater support throughout the world, and that is something everyone associated with FIFA should be proud of.”
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