Blatter Turns Around, Says He ‘Did Not Resign’ As Fifa President

Sepp Blatter has made insinuations that he has not thrown in the towel on his reign as Fifa President.

The Swiss football administrator was thought to have announced his departure from world football’s governing body, which he has headed for the past 17 years on 2 June amid the worst corruption scandal ever in the history of the association.

However, Swiss Newspaper, has quoted the 79-year-old as saying: “I did not resign. I put myself and my office in the hands of the Fifa congress.”

Another report alleges Blatter could stand for re-election again if no suitable candidate emerges.

The Office of the Swiss Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Justice began two separate investigations into alleged Fifa corruption two days prior to the May 29th Congress in Zurich, where Blatter was re-elected for a fifth term.

Blatter Says He Has Not Resigned as FIFA President. Image: AFP.
Blatter Says He Has Not Resigned as FIFA President. Image: AFP.

His reign this time was extremely short, having found himself under immense pressure from sponsors, who had already began threatening boycott, and the European football body. Blatter would go on to announce his impending farewells at a hastily organised press conference four days after his re-election.

Blatter said: “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.”

One word missing from that speech was ‘resign’ or ‘resignation,’ but with the football world already anticipating ‘change’ at the helm of world football; any move on the contrary could mean a return to the old for many, aside some few Blatter loyalists- most of whom are from Africa.

In the meantime, Fifa Executive Committee will meet in Zurich on 20 July to decide a date for an extraordinary congress- likely to be called for 16 December- where a new president is expected to be elected.