After the stunning news that Sepp Blatter is standing down as FIFA’s president on Tuesday following an impromptu news conference in Zurich.
The first question on many people’s lips was: why now?
[ SHOCK: Blatter to resign ]
79-year-old Blatter was re-elected as FIFA’s president for a fifth-term on Friday, extending his 17-year stay as the leader of world soccer’s governing body, but just four days later he is walking away in dramatic fashion.
“I have deeply reflected on my presidency and my past 40 years at FIFA,” Blatter said. “I love FIFA more than anything and I only want to do the best for football and FIFA.”
Blatter has been under intense scrutiny for years over alleged corruption at FIFA but after 14 people were indicted, including nine FIFA officials, for corruption and bribery last Wednesday in Switzerland by Swiss officials on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI, world soccer’s governing body has been in turmoil.
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Despite those shocking arrests, Blatter was re-elected 48 hours later as he beat Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan.
A report from ABC News is claiming that Blatter is being investigated by the FBI, pointing to a huge reason why he has decided to resign as FIFA’s president just days after being elected for a fifth-straight four year term.
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The reports states that a source close to the information has confirmed that the FBI are investigating Blatter, even though he has yet to be arrested.
Blatter was elected in 1998 as the leading official in world soccer but now a new leader will be elected as Prince Ali and UEFA’s president Michel Platini have emerged as potential successors for Blatter who will continue as acting president until somebody new has been elected.
FIFA had the following to say about Blatter’s resignation.
“The investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee takes note of the FIFA president’s announcement that he will be stepping down. The chamber will continue its mandate along with the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee of consistently ensuring compliance with FIFA’s Code of Ethics and will make this its highest priority, regardless of who is President. The body’s independence from the President, regardless of who is exercising this function, is a key part of good corporate governance.”