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Dyke has previously criticised FIFA's regime

FA Chairman Greg Dyke has said that Sepp Blatter’s resignation as President of FIFA is “fantastic” for football.

The 79-year old ended his 16 year tenure in charge of football’s governing body, amid huge claims of corruption and two criminal investigations by both US and Swiss authorities.

Following Blatter’s announcement, Dyke said:

“I think it’s great news for football.

“I think it was long overdue, but its good news for world football. It now means we can get someone into to run FIFA, we can get in there and find out where all the money has gone over all the years, and sort it out for the future, so its great news.”

Dyke and the FA had voted against Blatter in the presidential elections last Friday, just two days after seven FIFA officials were arrested on charges of money-laundering, bribery and racketeering. Two of those arrested were FIFA Vice-Presidents.

Blatter won his fifth term in the elections, after his only remaining rival, Jordanian Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, dropped out after the first round of voting.

However, Dyke spoke of his surprise at the announcement, with Blatter stating that FIFA needed “profound restructuring.”

“When I was interviewed leaving the [FIFA] congress on Friday night, I said ‘this isn’t the end of it’, but even I didn’t think it would be all over by the next Tuesday.

“Clearly there has been something that has come out of the events of last wee that has made Mr Blatter stand down, and one can only assume that that’s to do with the investigation, either by the Swiss Justice Authorities or by the Attorney General in America.

“But, forget that, if you’re in football forget that, he’s gone, we’re going to get someone else at long last we can sort out FIFA, we can go back to look at those two World Cups [Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 – both decisions were heavily criticised], if I was in Qatar today, I wouldn’t be feeling very confident.”

Dyke, who became FA Chairman in 2013, has reiterated Blatter’s comments, stating that the whole organisation needed “restructuring.”

“The whole organisation needs restructuring. I felt quite sorry for a lot of the people who work at FIFA because they’ve done nothing wrong. What’s been happening has been happening at a much higher level than them.

“But the whole organisation needs restructuring, the whole organisation needs looking at financially, we want to know where the money’s gone. We don’t even know how much Blatter got paid. We don’t know what his bonus was, we certainly don’t know what his expenses were.

“In the future it’s got to be about transparency, but this is great news today.”

The 68-year old did however praise Blatter for some of his work during his reign as FIFA President, but did cast doubt over the Austrian’s motives:

“He has spent a lot of money in football in third world countries, and developing football, and that is to be praised and he has done it well.

“The trouble is, knowing Mr Blatter, we all rather doubt his motives.

“But there is no doubt that significant sums of money have been spent around the world to help develop football. He did take the World Cup to Africa for the first time, which was a good thing to do, so it’s not all bad. But the trouble is, it’s all been done in a cloud of corruption that has gone on for year after year after year, and today it ends.”

Blatter said in his statement earlier today that he would “urge the executive committee to organise an extraordinary congress for the election of my successor at the earliest opportunity.” The next normal FIFA congress isn’t due to take place until May next year.

Who will take over at FIFA is unclear, however, some of those who were involved in the leadership race for the presidential election have said that they would be willing to stand again. This includes Luis Figo and David Ginola.

But, regardless of who takes the now-vacant position, Dyke has said that they must make the organisation “transparent.”

“What is important is that the person who goes in is capable. Quite who it is at the moment I don’t know, I think there will be discussions all around the world.

“But, it’s got to be someone who systematically looks at that organisation, looks at its money, looks at where it’s been spent, and makes it transparent, because at the moment transparency is to be found nowhere in FIFA.”

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FIFA’s main sponsors have praised outbound FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s decision to resign.

The 79-year old announced his decision earlier today, amidst a huge corruption investigation which saw seven officials arrested last Wednesday. Two of those were FIFA Vice-Presidents.

Blatter was elected for a fifth term as President on Friday, but was immediately hit by calls to resign and admitted today that football’s governing body needed “profound restructuring.”

FIFA has five main sponsors, as well as two World Cup sponsors. These are Adidas, Coca-Cola, Visa, Hyundai, Gazprom, Budweiser and McDonalds.

Immediately after the arrests, the sponsors stated that they expected change throughout the whole organisation.

Visa and Coca-Cola repeated this in their statement following Blatter’s resignation.

Visa, who became a top-tier sponsor in 2007, said it was encouraged “by the recognition by FIFA that extensive and fundamental reform is needed as reflected by the announcement that President Blatter is resigning.

“This is a significant first step towards rebuilding public trust, but more work lies ahead.

“We repeat, however, that it is our expectation that FIFA will take swift and immediate steps towards addressing the issues within its organisation to quickly rebuild a culture with strong ethical practices that will restore the reputation of the games for fans around the world.

Coca-Cola, one of FIFA’s longest-standing corporate partners, echoed this feeling, describing the move as “a positive step,” but added that it expected FIFA to “act with urgency” and “win back the trust of all who love the sport of football.”

“We believe this decision will help FIFA transform itself rapidly into a much-needed 21st Century structure and institution.”

Budweiser, Adidas and McDonald’s all issued broadly positive statements:

“We expect today’s announcement to accelerate FIFA’s efforts to resolve internal issues, install positive change and adhere to the highest ethical standards and transparency,” said Budweiser.

Adidas said the decision represented “a step in the right direction on FIFA’s path to establish and follow transparent compliance standards in everything they do.”

McDonald’s said it was “hopeful” that the changes being implemented would lead to FIFA being reformed and “gaining back trust from fans worldwide.”

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At least nine football officials were arrested and detained by Swiss police on Wednesday in the latest corruption scandal to hit world football’s governing body. 

The investigation is held by FBI and US Departament of Justice. According to the US DoJ statement the main accusations are ‘racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies, among other offences, in connection with the defendants’ participation in a 24-years scheme to enrich themselves throught the corruption of international soccer”

Nine football officials including Fifa vice-president Jeffrey Webb were arrested and detained pending extradition to the United States after Swiss police raided a luxury hotel. At the same time, US authorities were searching the headquarters of Concacaf in Miami.

So far the arrested officials from the statement list are:

Jeffrey Webb: Current Fifa vice-president and executive committee member, Concacaf president, Caribbean Football Union (CFU) executive committee member and Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) president.

Eduardo Li: Current Fifa executive committee member-elect, Concacaf executive committee member and Costa Rican soccer federation (FEDEFUT) president.

Julio Rocha: Current Fifa development officer. Former Central American Football Union (UNCAF) president and Nicaraguan soccer federation (FENIFUT) president.

Costas Takkas: Current attaché to the Concacaf president. Former CIFA general secretary.

Jack Warner: Former Fifa vice-president and executive committee member, Concacaf president, CFU president and Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) special adviser.

Eugenio Figueredo: Current Fifa vice-president and executive committee member. Former Conmebol president and Uruguayan soccer federation (AUF) president.

Rafael Esquivel: Current Conmebol executive committee member and Venezuelan soccer federation (FVF) president.

José Maria Marin: Current member of the Fifa organising committee for the Olympic football tournaments. Former CBF president.

Nicolás Leoz: Former Fifa executive committee member and Conmebol president.

What’s more the Swiss Federal Office of Justice have opened criminal proceedings in connection with the 2018 and 2022 World Cups on allegations of ‘criminal mismanagement and money laundering.’ Attorney General Loretta Lynch: ”It spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks. Nine FIFA Executive Committee members was questioned by Swiss police on Wednesday about their roles in the two World Cup votes.”

The reaction of Fifa was immediate. In a special press conference Walter De Gregorio tried to explain the situaton.

Apart the conference, Fifa made their own statement where we can read that ”Fifa welcomes actions that can help contribute to rooting out any wrongdoing in football … We are pleased to see that the investigation is being energetically pursued for the good of football and believe that it will help to reinforce measures that Fifa has already taken.”

FBI Director James Comey: ”As charged in the indictment, the defendants fostered a culture of corruption and greed that created an uneven playing field for the biggest sport in the world.

Undisclosed and illegal payments, kickbacks, and bribes became a way of doing business at Fifa. I want to commend the investigators and prosecutors around the world who have pursued this case so diligently, for so many years.”

This enormous scandal again shows Fifa and whole football world in bad light.

What could be more important is that these events are happening just before the Friday FIFA congress  where Sepp Blatter is widely expected to win a fifth term at the helm of the governing body of world football. Multiple candidates for the post have recently pulled out of the running, including Luis Figo.

However it’s said that the Fifa President seems to be pretty relaxed. Walter De Gregorio about Blatter reaction: ”Well he is not dancing in his office. He is very calm, he is fully co-operative with everything. That’s what I meant. He’s not a happy man, saying wow wow.”

Police are investigating the case and it is said that next few hours might be fundamental in the future of world football.


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