FIFA: Blatter not making U-turn on pledge to leave office

Associated Press

June 26, 2015

ZURICH FIFA President Sepp Blatter has not made a U-turn on his plans to leave office, the governing body said Friday.

FIFA responded after Swiss daily Blick reported comments made by Blatter late Thursday to construction workers at FIFA's new museum in Zurich.

Blatter told the workers that he technically had not resigned on June 2 but had pledged to lay down his mandate at a special election congress which is being organized.

In his speech on June 2, Blatter did not use the word "resign" and also pledged he would not be a candidate at the next election.

"We can confirm the quotes in Blick are accurate," FIFA said in a statement. "However, they are fully in line with the speech of the President on June 2."

The election congress is expected to be held between December and March.

Blatter has not fully explained why he announced he would leave office just four days after winning re-election amid a crisis provoked by American and Swiss federal investigations of corruption linked to FIFA.

American law enforcement officials have confirmed that Blatter is a target of their investigation into widespread bribery and racketeering linked to broadcast rights and hosting votes for international tournaments.

Four football and marketing officials have already made guilty pleas and 14 more were named in an indictment published on May 27.