PtG Article 12.06.2015

European Parliament calls for Blatter’s immediate resignation

In a resolution that condemns the ‘endemic corruption’ in FIFA, Members of the European Parliament have called for Blatter to step down right away.

In a ‘Joint Motion for a Resolution’, Members of the European Parliament (MEP) yesterday voted in favour of a resolution calling for FIFA president Sepp Blatter to step down with immediate effect instead of waiting for a new president to be elected as was announced when Blatter broke the news about his intention to step down as FIFA president.   

While the MEPs welcome this decision, there is concern that real change cannot take place within the football body before a new leadership has been appointed, it says in the resolution, in which the MEPs also condemn ‘the systemic and endemic corruption exposed in FIFA’.

According to the resolution, the allegations of corruption are ‘far from surprising’, which is why there is a need for a follow-up investigation into past corruption practices in FIFA.

Such an investigation could include ‘the removal of all officials involved in financial misconduct’, the resolution says. But in order to restore the credibility of FIFA, a new leadership should be appointed, the MEPs stress and the resolution “therefore calls on FIFA to select, in a transparent and inclusive way, an appropriate interim leader to replace Joseph Blatter forthwith.”

The MEPs call on both sports governing bodies as well as sponsors and other stakeholders to commit to and support reform processes. They further encourage UEFA and other FAs “to step up their own efforts to push for the implementation of fundamental reform measures within FIFA […] by the end of 2016.”

The fight against corruption in FIFA, should also be accompanied by a commitment by FIFA as well as other stakeholders to initiate measures against e.g. match-fixing and other crimes affecting sports organisations, the motion states.

Commending the investigative journalists whose work set the alarm bells ringing regarding corruption in FIFA, the MEPs urge sports organisations to create a set-up that makes blowing the whistle on malpractices in sports governance both easier and safer.  

The motion for resolution was passed by a show of hands during a plenary sitting in the European Parliament on 11 June. The resolution will now be forwarded to the European Council and the European Commission, EU member state governments as well to FIFA, UEFA, European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL), European Club Association (ECA) and FIFPro.

The resolution is not legally binding.

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