In view of the surprise resignation-announcement by FIFA chief Sepp Blatter, a weekend meeting in Berlin of European football’s apex body was on Wednesday postponed by UEFA president Michel Platini.
Ironic but it was only on Friday that Sepp Blatter took office of FIFA as the president for the fifth term, but now he may no longer relish the mighty position.
Amidst several corruption scandals tied to FIFA, Blatter’s resignation as the president, a position he has held since 1998, came as a surprise.
Flaunting a calm countenance, the 79-year-old Swiss who has been the FIFA president for 17 years told a press conference, that was hurriedly arranged at the last minute, that the FIFA congress would meet soon to elect the new President.
FIFA audit committee’s head clarified that the election is expected to take place between December 2015 and March 2016.
The resignation came quickly after the U.S Department of Justice made a probe into the corruption scandal of FIFA, leading to the arrest of at least seven officials accused of racketeering with $150 million bribe involved in it.
According to an article by The New York Times, Jerome Valcke, the secretary general of FIFA, also regarded as Sepp Blatter’s ‘right hand’ was being questioned by federal prosecutors on suspicion of having paid $10 million in 2008 to FIFA official Jack Warner who controls the accounts.
In the same report it is said that the racketeering indictment that was brought out last week termed the payment as a ‘bribe’ received by Warner in return for assisting South Africa in winning the chance to host the 2010 World Cup.
The federal prosecutors are apparently under the impression that the ‘unidentified’ person in the indictment is either Jerome Valcke or Sepp Blatter. However, Blatter has shoved aside any sign of his involvement with the corruption. “Definitely that is not me,” he said in a report by Time.
According to the report by The New York Times, Danny Jordan, the president of South Africa’s soccer federation and the chief executive of South Africa’s World Cup bid said that the $10 million payment was an authorized payment into the football development fund in the country.
The same report has said that Delia Fischer, the spokeswoman for FIFA said Julio Grondona who died last year, and was the chairman of the finance committee then “authorized the payment.”
Fischer added that the payment was “executed in accordance with the Organization Regulations.”
Blatter’s surprising retraction came in a blink of an eye. He transformed from being obstinate to defeated. According to a report by Time, on Friday after his win, he said: “Why would I step down? That would mean I recognize that I did wrong.” Now that he resigned, the fact stands out anyway.