So That's Why He Left - Blatter Under Investigation!

Last updated : 03 June 2015 By Footy Mad - Editor

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Sepp Blatter has announced he will step down as FIFA president and could now be facing an investigation by the FBI into his own activities.

The 79-year-old's decision was hailed as "a brilliant day" by Football Association chairman Greg Dyke, who said the change at the head of FIFA could have implications for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Reports in the United States say Blatter himself is being investigated by the FBI in connection with the disclosure of a letter confirming a 10million US dollar payment was made via FIFA's executive office to disgraced executive Jack Warner.

Blatter's announcement comes just four days after he was re-elected for a fifth term and follows corruption charges against FIFA officials that caused the biggest crisis in the world governing body's history.

The final straw came when FIFA was forced to admit that it had paid the 10million US dollars destined for the South Africa World Cup to an account controlled by Warner.

The payment followed the letter - obtained by Press Association Sport - from the South African FA to FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke.

Blatter said in hastily-arranged news conference in Zurich: "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.

"Therefore, I have decided to lay down my mandate at an extraordinary elective congress. I will continue to exercise my functions as FIFA president until that election."

That election is to take place between December and March and Blatter will remain in position until then.

Blatter's announcement is sure to create uncertainty over the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which are being hosted by Russia and Qatar respectively.

Dyke told Press Association Sport: "It's a brilliant day for the game."

He added: "If I was the Qatari organisers I wouldn't sleep very well tonight. There has been less evidence about corruption involving Russia. Qatar was never understandable - to have a World Cup in the middle of summer in Qatar when even FIFA's health and safety people advised not to do it."

Dyke's comments inevitably did not go down well in Qatar.

The president of the Qatar Football Association, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al-Thani, said in a statement: "We welcome the office of the Swiss attorney general conducting its own work into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

"We would urge Mr Dyke to let the legal process take its course and concentrate on delivering his promise to build an England team capable of winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar."

South Korea's former FIFA vice-president Chung Mong-Joon is considering standing for the election to succeed Blatter.

Chung, who served on FIFA's executive committee from 1994 to 2011, said he will "listen closely" to the opinions of others involved in international football before making up his mind, according to the Korean news service Yonhap.