Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, gave up his ex officio membership of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Monday ahead of the vote for his successor as head of football’s governing body slated for 26 February.
As a matter of procedures, Blatter would ordinarily have been re-elected for another eight-year term at the ongoing IOC Session in Kualar Lumpur, Malaysia, along with more than a dozen other members, but would be required to stand down when he would have departed Fifa.
“Mr. Blatter wrote me a letter on July 23 informing me that it would be inappropriate to seek another eight-year term as he was retiring from his position at Fifa in seven months when a new president will be selected on Feb. 26,” IOC president Thomas Bach said.
The 79-year-old Swiss was re-elected for a fifth term at Fifa’s 29 May congress but announced he will stand down at an extraordinary congress four days later. He also said he will not stand as a candidate again and has yet to backtrack on that decision.
Seven of Fifa’s high ranking officials were arrested at a Swiss hotel as part of a United States investigation. Those seven were among 14 persons indicted by U.S. authorities on corruption, conspiracy, bribery and racketeering charges.
A separate investigation by Swiss Authorities over the decision to award the 2018 and 2022 Fifa World Cup tournaments to Russia and Qatar is also running concurrently.
Blatter has been an ex officio IOC member since 1999.
He has not been indicted by either of the investigation, but his leadership has been largely criticised.