Sepp Blatter will resign as FIFA president after 17 years in charge

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Sepp Blatter will no longer be the president of FIFA.

After 17 years in charge of world soccer’s governing body, the Swiss born official held an impromptu press conference in Zurich on Tuesday where he announced that he will resign from the position he has held since 1998.

[ RELATED: Blatter re-elected ]

Blatter, 79, has been the figurehead of FIFA for nearly two decades but after 14 individuals, including nine FIFA officials, were indicted by the the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI on allegations of corruption and bribery last week, his tenure and the senior leadership of FIFA has come under increased scrutiny.

[ RELATED: FBI investigating Blatter? ]

Now, despite only being re-elected for a fifth-term as FIFA president last Friday, Blatter has announced that he will step down when a successor is found following an extraordinary general meeting which he has called to occur as soon as possible.

World soccer’s governing body is left in ruins.

Here is Blatter’s announcement:

“I have been reflecting deeply about my presidency and about the 40 years in which my life has been inextricably bound to FIFA and the great sport of football. I cherish FIFA more than anything and I want to do only what is best for FIFA and for football. I felt compelled to stand for re-election, as I believed that this was the best thing for the organisation. That election is over but FIFA challenges are not. FIFA needs a profound overhaul.

“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. Therefore, I have decided to lay down my mandate at an extraordinary elective Congress. I will continue to exercise my functions as Fifa President until that election. The next ordinary FIFA Congress will take place on 13 May 2016 in Mexico City. This would create unnecessary delay and I will urge the Executive Committee to organise an Extraordinary Congress for the election of my successor at the earliest opportunity.”

As well as announcing his resignation, Blatter also called for the size of FIFA’s Executive Committee to be reduced and term limits put in place for its members but he will stay in charge of the organization until at least December this year of potentially March 2016 until a new leader is voted in.

This may not be the last we hear of FIFA’s long-term leader though.

A report from ABC News claims that Blatter is under investigation by the FBI, giving some reasoning to his shocking and sudden decision to step down as the leader of world soccer’s governing body.

Keep checking ProSoccerTalk for the latest, as we continue to cover the shocking news that Blatter’s time is up.