Thursday 27 October 2016

No change of heart from Sepp Blatter over FIFA resignation

Martyn Ziegler

Published 15/06/2015 | 14:45

Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter has indicated there has been no change of heart in his decision to step down as FIFA president.

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Blatter's former election advisor Klaus Stoehlker has claimed it remains "open" for the 79-year-old to run again if a convincing candidate does not emerge.

But a FIFA spokesperson said Stoehlker the advisor was no longer employed by Blatter and the FIFA president pointed to his statement of June 2 where he announced he would step down between December and February.

The FIFA spokesperson said: "Klaus Stoehlker's mandate from the FIFA president ended on 31 May 2015. The FIFA president would like to point to his remarks from June 2."

Stoehlker had told Sky News: "As long as there is not such a candidate it remains open for Sepp Blatter to run again."

Domenico Scala, the independent chairman of FIFA's audit and compliance committee, has urged Blatter to stick with his plans to resign.

Scala, who is overseeing the next FIFA presidential election, said in a statement: "For me, the reforms are the central topic. That is why I think it is clearly indispensable to follow through with the initiated process of leadership change as it has been announced."

Meanwhile, Switzerland's attorney general will make a statement on Wednesday about his investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Michael Lauber is expected to detail the scope of the investigation as well as the time-scale and resources that will be used in the "criminal proceedings".

Officials from the attorney general's office have already taken possession of computer data from FIFA as part of the investigation into the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which are being hosted by Russia and Qatar respectively.

The investigation is also looking into the money paid for a friendly between Argentina and Brazil in Qatar three weeks before the vote in 2010, and has taken possession of documents from the agency Kentaro which organised the match.

Lauber's press conference is to follow his expected re-election as attorney general.

A statement from his office said: "Attorney General Lauber will make a statement on the ongoing criminal proceedings in connection with the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 Football World Cups.

"The Attorney General will not deliver any further information, other than his statement concerning the ongoing football investigation."

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