FIFA President Sepp Blatter will step down as head of world soccer’s governing body but only after the organization’s executive committee organizes a fresh vote “for the election of my successor,” he said Tuesday.
Blatter did not say when the election would be held but said it should before the next World Congress in May 2016. It cannot be held for at least four months, according to FIFA rules, said Domenico Scala, chairman of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee.
Speaking in Zurich, Blatter said the reforms he has tried to implement over the years have not been enough.
He continued, “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.”
Michel Platini, president of UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, has criticized Blatter in the past and told reporters last week that he had asked Blatter to bow out of the elections. He was one of the first to react to the announcement: “It was a difficult decision, a brave decision, and the right decision.”