Blatter’s resignation linked to reported FBI investigation


British media has reported that increasing claims of corruption were to blame for the sudden resignation of beleaguered FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, four days after him being re-elected as head of the footballing body for a fifth term.

According to Sky News, scrutiny had been rising around 79-year old after his was discovered that bribes worth $10-million had been paid to host the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Sources have been meanwhile told the broadcaster that has the matter has been turned over to the FBI, and that officials have alleged the pay out of bribes to be running at $150-million.

Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula has however denied the allegations, saying that the amount was part of a procedural process and that the claims were attempts by “Americans [who] seek to depict our government as corrupt”. He is expected to address the media at a hesitantly called briefing later today.

Similarly South African Football Association (SAFA) President Danny Jordaan said that he was unaware of South African officials being investigated as reported, and that no bribe could have been paid “four years after we had won the bid”. A reported seven FIFA officials have so far been arrested since the matter become apparent last week.

Blatter, who had initially been cleared of any wrong doing, has said that his decision to step down “was in the best interest of the game” and that “FIFA needs a profound overhaul”.

“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,” he said at a hurriedly setup press conference late yesterday evening.

“I have fought for these changes before and, as everyone knows, my efforts have been blocked. It is my deep care for FIFA and its interests, which I hold very dear, that has led me to take this decision”.

FIFA has also dismissed reports that its Secretary General, Jerome Valcke, had made the payment to former vice president Jack Warner, following a report in the New York Times which named him as the “high-ranking official” who transferred the money.

In a document leaked on twitter yesterday, Valcke is however instructed by former SAFA president Molefi Oliphant to pay Warner the amount in support of “the African diaspora in Caribbean countries”.


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