In a surprising turn around from his confident and somewhat joyous “Let’s go FIFA” celebration after last weeks FIFA election, Sepp Blatter took the un-expected step of resigning (yes, he’s on the way out) as FIFA President overnight.
After 17 long and dark years for FIFA, shrouded in controversy, it seems as the veil has finally been lifted on the man at the head of it all.
But the question on everyone’s lips is why now?
Why would a man so ignorant to the multitude of previous allegations against him suddenly fall on his sword?
Since the controversial 2022 Qatar World Cup ruling, the vultures have been circling FIFA. Against all logistical and logical evaluation, the small Gulf nation with an abdominal human rights record and 50+ degree temperatures won the right to host football’s biggest party.
Quickly the allegations began to flow, documents leaked and money trails disappeared. FIFA’s comic insistence of purity and a ‘nothing to see here’ culture wasn’t fooling anyone outside their exclusive football family.
Pressure surrounding last week’s FBI and Swiss Police arrests of FIFA officals intensified on Monay evening. A document alleging FIFA Secretary-General, Jerome Vackle, transferred $US10 million bribe to Jack Warner.
The letter from the South African FA clearly requests Vackle to transfer the sum of $10 million USD for a ‘legacy project’ to CONCACAF Executive, Jack Warner, in what appears a bribe to support their successful 2010 World Cup bid.
Vackle hastily announced on Monday morning, hours after these allegations came to light that he wouldn’t be travelling to Canada for the Women’s World Cup anymore. Choosing to stay in Switzerland “due to the current situation”.
It’s believed this link got all a little to close to the Presidency for Blatter. The guilt of his right-hand-man along with the Vice-President Jeremy Webb’s arrest last week provided the final straw in operation ‘Blatter reform’.
A hasty news conference with a repenting soul his final act as a righteous, but weakened FIFA President.
Words by Jacob Arnott.