Sepp Blatter has put the football world out of its misery and decided to quit as the president of FIFA.
The 79-year-old was re-elected to serve a fifth term as president last week, but calls for him to resign have obviously had the desired effect.
Blatter confirmed his exit at an emergency press conference on Tuesday. The veteran official said: “I will organise an extraordinary congress for a replacement for me as president and I will not stand.
“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.
“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 then and I will urge the executive committee to organise that at the earliest opportunity.”
FIFA as an organisation are in a right mess at the moment, as the FBI go through their dirty laundry with a fine-tooth comb, not a nice job I know. I bet some FIFA officials will be in need of a good laundry service before this FBI investigation finishes, because for some it is brown trousers time.
For too long officials who are supposedly guardians of the beautiful game have been pocketing money that should be going to the grass roots level of football. Instead of buying nets, balls and equipment for children who want to play the game in their country these officials have lined their own pockets with ill-gotten gains.
Somebody has to be held responsible for the mess and the buck has to stop at the man at the head of the organisation, who is of course Mr Blatter himself.
Blatter will always be tinged by the latest scandal, even if he has not necessary had his hand in the cookie jar himself. However, according to reports emanating from the US the 79-year-old is also being investigated.
He could not avoid scrutiny, because there are only two ways such widespread corruption could have gone on and neither put Blatter in a great light.
One scenario is that the Swiss official is involved, as those reports over an investigation into his affairs would confirm. The other is that Blatter was so incompetent that he did not know it was going on.
Either way this is not a man you want running such a big organisation as FIFA. He is either a wrongdoer or a bumbling buffoon, only time will tell which one rings true.
The decision for Blatter to leave his position as head of FIFA is a positive one and step in the right direction. The organisation can now begin to rebuild its image and reputation, after a week that has almost brought it to its knees.
Many had called for Blatter to resign and big sponsors were threatening to pull their support to the organisation after the events of the last week. Whether his resignation will change people’s view on FIFA remains to be seen.
It seems that so many officials have abused the trust shown in them and just helped themselves to money supposedly there to help football their respective countries.
Blatter will remain in charge until such time that a new election can take place. Reports suggest that the new election may not take place until as late as December.
As yet it is unknown who will take part in the process, but the likes of Luis Figo, Zico, David Ginola and Michel Platini have all been mentioned as possible candidates.
Blatter’s only challenger in last week’s election Prince Ali bin al Hussein of Jordan looks certain to be involved after gaining a lot of support during the campaign.
Whoever is the next FIFA president is going to have a big job on their hands trying to resurrect the image and reputation of football’s governing body.
However, what they will have is the fact that they have not been previously linked with the current scandal. They will also no doubt be keen to help the authorities deal with the wrongdoers currently within the organisation.
This is now the ideal time for FIFA to start afresh with openness and most of all integrity as its core values. FIFA have an obligation to the world to do everything they can in their power to promote the game to the masses.
If there are officials taking money out of the game that should be heading for worthy causes in the game it must be stamped out, so that everybody in the world can enjoy the beautiful game, and not just the fat cat officials at the of it.
Who will be the next FIFA president?