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FIFA President Sepp Blatter Resigns Amid Bribery Scandal

FIFA President Sepp Blatter talks to the media during the FIFA Post Congress Week Press Conference on May 30 in Zurich.
Alessandro Della Bella Getty Images
FIFA President Sepp Blatter talks to the media during the FIFA Post Congress Week Press Conference on May 30 in Zurich.

Amid a bribery scandal that involved top executives of world soccer's governing body, FIFA's President Sepp Blatter is resigning.

Blatter made the announcement during a press conference and just days after he easily won an election to a fifth term.

"It is my deep care for FIFA and its interests, which I hold very dear, that has led me to take this decision," Blatter said, according to FIFA's translation of his remarks.

Blatter said that he will call for "an extraordinary congress" that will be held "as soon as possible" to elect a new president.

Blatter will stay on as president until his successor is elected.

Last month, U.S. authorities indicted a group of senior FIFA officials on corruption charges. Yesterday media reports said Blatter's top lieutenant had transferred $10 million to an account controlled by former CONCACAF President Jack Warner. That payment was allegedly part of a bribe to help South Africa secure the right to host the 2010 World Cup.

Neither Valcke nor Blatter have been formally accused of wrongdoing, but the development brought the investigation very close to FIFA's top leadership.

Blatter said that even though members of FIFA gave him a new mandate through his re-election, last week, he did not feel that vote was enough for "the fans, the players, the clubs, the people who live, breathe and love football as much as we all do at FIFA."

"That election is over but FIFA's challenges are not," Blatter said. "FIFA needs a profound overhaul."

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