UNDERFIRE Sepp Blatter has made the shock announcement that he is to resign as president of FIFA, just days after his re-election to the position.
On Friday, the boss of football’s managing body, in a state of crisis since the arrest of several top officials on corruption charges last week, was unrepentant, saying:
“Why would I step down? That would mean I recognise that I did wrong.”
But this afternoon, in a press conference which was reportedly attended by just 15 people, the world’s press apparently expecting nothing more than bombast from Blatter, he announced he would step aside.
He said: “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.”
The news was met with jubilation from much of that world of football, including Chairman of the English FA, Greg Dyke, who tweeted: “He’s stood down. He’s gone. Let’s celebrate … this is nothing to do with Mr Blatter being honourable, he hasn’t been honourable in years.”
French footballing hero Michel Platini is one of the favourites to replace Blatter, and he welcomed the decision as “a brave” one.