Last week, a spate of high-profile indictments of some of the international soccer organization's top officials were made under charges of corruption. On Tuesday, just days after his fifth-term re-election, FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced his resignation at a hastily put-together press conference.
Blatter's declared his unexpected resignation in Zurich, after the conference was delayed several times. When he finally emerged, Blatter declared to a roomful of journalists that he will resign after FIFA's executive committee organizes a special election to pick his successor, indicating that he tried to change the organization from within.
Although the members of FIFA gave me a new mandate, this mandate does not seem to be supported by everyone in the world of football. The supporters, clubs, players and those who inspire in football as much as we did at FIFA.
I will organize an extraordinary congress for a replacement for me as president. I will not stand. I am now free from the constraints of an election. I will be in a position to focus on profound reforms. For many years we have called for reforms. But these are not sufficient.
We need a limitation on mandates and terms of office. I have fought for these changes but my efforts have been counteracted. FIFA's interest are dear to me. That's why I have taken this decision. What counts most for me, is the institution of FIFA and football around the world.
Blatter did not state the date of the election, but said that it should take place as soon as possible, before the next World Congress in May 2016.
The 79-year-old Swiss was re-elected as FIFA president for his fifth term on Friday, amid the U.S. and Switzerland's freshly-launched investigations into allegations of FIFA officials' widespread and long-standing corruption. Blatter was spared from the score of arrests of top officials, but many pointed to his own alleged history of corruption and controversy.
[Cover image via Alessandro Della Bella/Getty Images]