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What does Sepp Blatter's resignation actually mean - and what happens next?

Blatter’s 17-year term at the top of world football is set to finally come to an end.

Source: Ronald Zak

Sepp Blatter resigned?

Yes. In a very hastily announced press conference around 5.30pm on Tuesday evening, Sepp Blatter announced that he will “lay down his mandate.”

The 79-year-old was re-elected for a fifth term as Fifa president on Friday but remained under intense pressure as corruption scandals continue to engulf world football’s governing body.

Why did he resign?

Although he was re-elected just two days after nine Fifa officials were arrested as part of corruption investigations, Blatter faced significant opposition and did not secure the 2/3 majority needed in the first round of voting.

The investigations of both the US and the Swiss authorities are continuing but Blatter has not been arrested as part of either probe.

Reading from a prepared statement, 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.

So is that him gone?

Not yet — Blatter will continue on as president until an extraordinary elective Congress can be convened to choose his successor.

When will that be?

It could take a while yet.

The next ordinary Fifa Congress is scheduled for 13 May 2016 — nearly a full year away. Blatter himself said that this would cause an “unnecessary delay” which is why they will need to convene an extraordinary meeting.

Initial indications are that the election is unlikely to be called before December of this year. ”This will need to be done in line with FIFA’s statutes and we must allow enough time for the best candidates to present themselves and to campaign,” Blatter said.

What will Blatter do in the meantime?

He has promised to use the time to enact “deep-rooted structural change”…

This includes:

  • Reducing the size of the Fifa executive committee
  • Direct elections by the Fifa Congress
  • Integrity checks organised centrally through Fifa rather than by each individual confederations
  • Term limits for the Fifa president and all ExCo members — which would most likely prevent anybody from serving a 17-year term to rival Blatter’s

“I have fought for these changes before and, as everyone knows, my efforts have been blocked. This time, I will succeed.”

Will any of that actually happen?

Who knows?

Read Sepp Blatter’s resignation statement in full here >

A week is a long time in football: How Sepp Blatter went from elation to resignation

8 times Sepp Blatter was so cringeworthy he made us ashamed to be football fans

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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