Sepp Blatter must resign as president of football’s ruling body FIFA, the non-governmental corruption watchdog Transparency International said on Wednesday.
Transparency international, pointed out to the U.S., and Swiss bribery probes involving football officials. “These scandals have taken place under Sepp Blatter’s watch of FIFA, which spans almost two decades,’’ the group’s managing director Cobus de Swardt said in a statement hours after news broke of the latest scandals to hit FIFA.
Transparency International also demanded that Friday’s election for the FIFA presidency should be suspended. Blatter was expected to be confirmed for a fifth term at FIFA’s congress in Zurich with the support of non-European football associations.
“Blatter must stand down and new elections called to mark a new era of FIFA leadership,’’ de Swardt said. Transparency International has conducted an online poll through the social network and polling app FootballAddicts, which showed that four out of five respondents did not want Blatter to stand for re-election.
Of the 35,000 respondents in 30 countries, 69 per cent said they did not have trust in FIFA. De Swardt called on all FIFA executive committee members to disclose all conflicts of interest. “Their hands need to be clean and seen to be clean,’’ he said.
The U.S., Justice Department alleged on Wednesday that former, current and incoming FIFA executive committee members were among those involved in a bribery scheme over football marketing and media rights in the Americas.
Transparency International has been asking FIFA to implement anti-graft measures related to decisions on World Cup hosts, financial flows to regional football bodies and football officials, broadcast and sponsorship rights, as well as ticket sales.