Thank You For Resigning, Sepp Blatter!

Just four days after being elected to a fifth term as FIFA President, Sepp Blatter abruptly resigned. However, Blatter said his successor would be appointed after a special election that would not be held until sometime between December 2015 and March 2016.blatter460276

This is way too long to appoint a new FIFA President. Even after the arrest of many top FIFA officials prior to the FIFA Presidential election, Blatter defeated Prince Ali in votes 133-73. While this may seem like a strong win for Blatter, he actually would have received many more votes in his favor if the scandal and arrests had not happened under his watch.

When the scandal was first reported early last week, it was shared that Blatter was not under investigation. However, it has now been reported that the FBI is indeed investigating Blatter. Since the FBI has been questioning many top FIFA officials, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make plea deals and implicate Blatter and his own wrongdoings. This could be why Blatter resigned yesterday.

Domenico Scala is charged with overseeing FIFA reform and had this to say about the situation.

“I have a great amount of respect for the President and the role that he has played in championing reform within FIFA. As he has recognized, we have worked hard to put in place governance reforms. But this has not been enough. By making this announcement, he has created an opportunity for us to go further than FIFA has before — to fundamentally change the way in which FIFA is structured.

As part of FIFA’s work, the organization will re-examine the way in which it is structured. While it would be premature to speculate on the outcomes of this work, nothing will be off the table, including the structure and composition of the Executive Committee and the way in which members of the Executive Committee are elected. I expect this to be an important aspect of ongoing reform. As I said a year ago, the structure of the Executive Committee and its Members are at the core of the current issues that FIFA is facing. Current events only reinforce my determination to drive this reform.”

There is no doubt the structure of FIFA has contributed to the charges of racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering, and bribery so it is encouraging to see that Scala is looking to change the FIFA of structure so hopefully this does not happen in the future.

Since the initial report about FIFA corruption, international wanted persons alerts have been issued for former FIFA officials and executives including Jack Warner and Nicolas Leoz. Warner is believes to have taken as much as 10 million in the scandal.

The red notices have been issued at the request of the U.S. Justice Department for charges including racketeering, conspiracy and corruption.

It is possible the World Cup sites may change for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, hosted by Russia and Quatar, respectively, as Swiss authorities are digging deep into whether corruption played a role in these countries being awarded as host nations for the World Cup. Quatar being awarded the 2022 World Cup was a huge surprise to many people around the world as it looked like the United States was the leading candidate to host the tournament for the first time since 1994. Issues such as needing to build more stadiums and extremely hot summers causing the World Cup to be played in December rather than June for the first time in its history were red flags that have made observers skeptical about how Quatar was able to win the 2022 bid.

So who might be candidates to take over? Obviously, Prince Ali would like the job as FIFA President since he ran last week and lost. What about current FIFA Vice-President  and former France star Michel Platini who has always stated he has no desire to become FIFA President? Was that because he was afraid of running against Blatter before the news of the scandal arose? Luis Figo, former star for Portgual, was running in the FIFA Presidential election, but dropped out only a week before last Friday’s vote to back Prince Ali. Even former Brasilian great Zico has expressed an interest in the position. I am sure there are others. Whoever it is must rid FIFA of the corruption that has shamed futbol’s international governing body.

And that’s as I see it!

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