A surprise press conference delivered the end of Sepp Blatter’s reign atop FIFA, with the organization’s president stating that, less than a week after being reelected for a fifth term, he would resign from the position amid a growing scandal throughout the organization. Blatter then called for new elections to choose a successor, stating that he will remain atop FIFA until a new name is selected, a process that is expected to take place between December and March. “FIFA needs a profound overhaul,” he 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.”
The move was quickly applauded from organizations around the world who had expressed concern over the state of the union given the various scandals.
From US Soccer President Sunil Gulati: The announcement today by President Blatter represents an exceptional and immediate opportunity for positive change within FIFA. I commend him for making a decision that puts FIFA and the sport we love above all other interests. This is the first of many steps towards real and meaningful reform within FIFA. Today is an occasion for optimism and belief for everyone who shares a passion for our game.
From Coca-Cola per WSJ: We believe this decision will help FIFA transform itself rapidly into a much-needed 21st century structure and institution.
From Visa: Transparency, integrity and fair play must be the hallmarks of the new administration and Visa stands ready to work with FIFA towards these principles. We repeat, however, that it is our expectation that FIFA will take swift and immediate steps towards addressing the issues within its organization to quickly rebuild a culture with strong ethical practices.
From AB InBev: We look forward to the beauty of the game taking center-stage again for football fans around the globe.
FOX Sports broadcaster Kelly Smith on impact on FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015: It’s going to be big now that the main guy has stepped down, but I don’t think individually it will affect the players playing in the World Cup because they’ve got a job to do. They’re focused on their group play and trying to get out of the group, but this is major news. Sepp Blatter has resigned. It’s massive.