3 June 2015
Sepp Blatter yesterday resigned from the position of the President of world governing body for football. It came as a surprise because he made this announcement just four days after he was re-elected to his fifth term. He said that although he got the mandate for the fifth term, this mandate was not supported by everyone in the world. The latest twist in the FIFA history just after new evidence emerged that FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke was aware of a $10 million payout from South African officials to former FIFA vice president Jack Warner. The revelation put him under renewed pressure over what he knew about the 2008 payment.
He said that an extraordinary election would be held to elect a new President.
Joseph S. Blatter, a Swiss national, commonly known as Sepp Blatter, was first elected President of FIFA on 8 June 1998. Since then he was re-elected 4 times in 2002, 2007, 2011, and 2015. In the 111 year history of FIFA no one, other than Blatter, held the Precedency for 5 straight terms. During his Precedency he faced numerous allegations of corruption in the bidding processes for the awarding of FIFA tournaments. But his tenure had seen a vast expansion in revenues generated by the FIFA World Cup, accompanied by the collapse of the marketing company International Sport and Leisure (ISL). ISL was established by former Adidas boss Horst Dassler. ISL was associated with FIFA, the International Olympic Committee and the International Association of Athletics Federations.
ISL had broadcast rights to FIFA events such as World Cups. When Swiss authorities investigated the collapse of ISL, it was found that ISL had between 1992 and 2000, paid bribes to Havelange, Teixeira and Nicolas Leoz. Havelange was the precedent of FIFA before Blatter. Leoz was the head of the Latin American football while Teixeira was associated with Brazilian football. At the time when the Swiss authorities started investigations all these three men had resigned from their jobs. The Swiss authorities considered that no “superfluous” further action was necessary and all the crooks were let off the hook and Blatter was exonerated of “criminal or ethical misconduct”.
It was alleged that Qatar’s successful 2022 World Cup bid was the result of Blatter getting a handsome bribe. Farra Ado, vice-president of the Confederation of African Football and president of the Somali Football Federation, told the British Press that he had been offered $100,000 to vote for Blatter in 1998.
Blatter defeated Jordan’s 39-year-old Prince Ali Al Hussein by 133 votes to 73. Blatter took aim at European football body, Uefa, and its President Michel Platini.
US authorities arrested 7 senior executives of FIFA and made charges against 14 others. US investigations are continuing and further fresh accusations could be made.
Blatter claimed that US wanted to interfere with the work of FIFA and wanted to oust him because he awarded the 2018 games to Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin came in strong support to Blatter alleging that US action was aimed at banning the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The US was one of the contenders for the 2018 World Cup.
Sheikh Hamad Jassim Jabar Al-Thani who was the Prime Minister and foreign minister of Qatar until 2013, strongly denied the allegation that Qatar paid large bribes to win the bid to host World Cup in 2022. He accused the West of racism, Islamophobia and bios against Arabs and the Gulf states.
Danny Jordan, the South African FA president and previously the head of the 2010 World Cup organizing committee conceded that a $10 million payment to the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Football (Concacaf). He said that this was not a bribe but South Africa’s contribution to Concacaf’s football development fund. He said that the payment was made in 2008 four years after South Africa had won the bid.
Swiss prosecutors are still investigating the awarding the World Cup to Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022. These decisions have deepened the division within the organization.
Blatter gains from generous payments made out by FIFA to the 209 members of the association. After the distressing tsunami, Blatter gave a donation of $950,000 to build a clubhouse in Phuket in Thailand. This clubhouse has accommodation and training facilities for 100 footballers. Football Association of Thailand (FAT) also received another donation of $860,000 to build a headquarters and an artificial pitch in Nongjok district of Bangkok. FAT President Worawi Makudi openly said that he supported Baltter.
Cook Islands football Chief Lee Harmon said that he supported Blatter because Cook Islands never received any aid from FIFA before Blatter became the President.
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman Ebrahim Al-Khalita of Bahrain also came in full support to Blatter.
After coming to power Blatter made it a policy to help FIFA’s 209 member associations. The donations included annual grant of $250,000 and a one-time bonus of $500,000 from profits linked to the 2014 World Cup.
Australia which lost its bid for 2022 World Cup gave its support to Prince Ali.
Switzerland: FIFA – Blatter steps down in a surprise move.
3 June 2015