Australia welcome Blatter’s resignation, call for immediate reform

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Canberra, June 3 (IANS) Football Federation Australia (FFA) welcomed on Wednesday the resignation of FIFA president Sepp Blatter and called for reform at all levels of the sport’s world governing body.

Amid a corruption crisis that has seen FIFA (Federation International de Football Association) condemned by various national football organisations, sponsors and governments, Blatter announced his resignation in a hastily-arranged press conference in Zurich on Tuesday, reports Xinhua.

Blatter was only re-elected to a fifth term as president on Friday. The FFA was one of 73 national bodies to vote for the other candidate, Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein of Jordan.

The FFA said FIFA must be taken in a new direction and cleansed of the current culture.

“FIFA needs fresh leadership and the resignation of the president is a first step,” it said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The challenge is not just to change the top elected position, but the governance structure at all levels and the culture that underpins it.”

FFA’s vote for Prince Ali, and condemnation of Blatter ahead of the vote, was out of line with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), of which FFA is a member.

“Australia will remain an active voice within the forums of FIFA and AFC in promoting governance reform and a new era of transparency,” it said.

The AFC, which has been a key ally of Blatter’s, has not taken a position on his resignation, but pledged to help “find the best way forward” for world football.

“The AFC is closely monitoring the situation, and will discuss with its member associations and sister confederations in order to find the best way forward for both FIFA and world football,” the statement said.

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