GENEVA — In soccer’s version, Sepp Blatter’s long goodbye holds no water as he is staying put.
Two days after announcing his decision to resign as FIFA president, Blatter sent a tweet with a picture of himself sitting at his desk, pen in hand. He wrote that he was already working on reforming the organization that has been plunged into crisis by a U.S. corruption investigation.
“He must go immediately,” Lennart Johansson, the former FIFA vice president who lost the 1998 presidential election long dogged by claims of vote-buying by Blatter supporters, said Friday in Berlin. “People want us to be clean.”
Blatter has continued working while he is a target of a U.S. federal case which promises to implicate more people after four soccer and marketing officials made guilty pleas and 14 were indicted last week.
Transparency International, the anti-corruption advisory group invited by FIFA to help with Blatter’s first round of reforms amid a bribery scandal in 2011, said the veteran leader was not credible to lead changes.
“Blatter cannot oversee the ‘new’ FIFA, he must go now,” Transparency International managing director Cobus de Swardt said in a statement Friday. “World football cannot be left in limbo.” Blatter’s preferred exit strategy does follow FIFA’s statutes — rules he helped craft in 40 years spent at soccer’s governing body.
The 27-member executive committee he chairs must meet and call for a special election congress of FIFA’s 209 member federations. That ruling panel’s next scheduled meeting is Sept. 24-25 in Zurich, but can be called together sooner.
Not good enough, according to one of Blatter’s new executive committee colleagues, Wolfgang Niersbach, in an interview with German TV station ZDF aired Friday. “Everything needs to go much faster,” said Niersbach, the president of the German soccer federation who was voted into the FIFA boardroom by European officials who want him to intervene more actively than most predecessors. “For me, it’s incredible the way it happened.”….
Full story at mail.com
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