US Soccer and Football Federation Australia (FFA) have responded positively to FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s impending resignation.
Just four days after being re-elected, embattled Blatter announced his decision to quit as president on Tuesday, amid widespread corruption allegations engulfing FIFA.
US Soccer and FFA were both opposed to Blatter’s reign, with the two governing body’s publicly throwing their support behind presidential candidate Prince Ali bin Al Hussein prior to last week’s election in Zurich.
With Blatter, who revealed an Extraordinary Congress will be held to appoint his successor, heading for the exit door, US Soccer and FFA believe it is a step in the right direction.
“The announcement by President Blatter represents an exceptional and immediate opportunity for positive change within FIFA,” said US Soccer president Sunil Gulati.
“I commend him for making a decision that puts FIFA and the sport we love above all other interests.
“This is the first of many steps towards real and meaningful reform within FIFA. Today [Tuesday] is an occasion for optimism and belief for everyone who shares a passion for our game.”
FFA added via a statement on Wednesday: “FIFA needs fresh leadership and the resignation of the President is a first step.
“The challenge is not just to change the top elected position, but the governance structure at all levels and the culture that underpins it.
“Australia will remain an active voice within the forums of FIFA and AFC in promoting governance reform and a new era of transparency.”
New Zealand Football (NZF), who also withdrew their support of Blatter last week, endorsed the 79-year-old Swiss’ departure.
“When we announced our intention to vote for Prince Ali last week, we said real change within FIFA could only be implemented with a new President in place,” said NZF CEO Andy Martin.
“Accordingly, we believe today’s announcement is the right decision to begin to rebuild the reputation of FIFA.
“We look forward to playing a role in the coming process to secure a positive change which benefits everyone who loves the game of football.”