Saturday, September 22, 2018Canada's Leading Online Business Magazine

Sepp Blatter is Out As FIFA Boss

Sepp Blatter

CBJ – Sepp Blatter stunned the soccer world on Tuesday by resigning as FIFA president in the wake of a U.S.-led corruption investigation that has plunged world soccer’s governing body into the worst crisis in its history.

The 79-year-old Blatter announced the decision at a news conference in Zurich, six days after the FBI raided a hotel in Zurich and arrested several FIFA officials and just four days after he was re-elected to a fifth term as president.

Blatter said an election to choose a new FIFA president would be held as soon as possible.

“FIFA needs profound restructuring,” he said.

FIFA, ruled over by Blatter since 1998, was rocked this week by the announcement of a U.S. investigation into alleged widespread financial wrongdoing stretching back for years. Swiss authorities mounted their own criminal probe into the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively.

The U.S. Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Blatter initially attempted to bat away the furore, relying on his network of friends to hold onto power at FIFA, which he joined in 1975.

While Blatter was not mentioned in either the U.S. or Swiss investigations, there were widespread calls for him to quit, mostly from Western nations. Some major sponsors also expressed misgivings about the impact of the scandal.

The investigation however closed in on Blatter on Tuesday, when FIFA was forced to deny that his right-hand man, Secretary-General Jerome Valcke, was implicated in a $10 million payment that lies at the heart of the U.S. case.

@CanBizJournal

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