THE HOT SEAT
With Blatter stunningly stepping down, his successor will face some major decisions for soccer’s world governing body . . . and the sport itself
The World Cup of soccer scandals reached at least the end of its first chapter Tuesday when longtime FIFA President Sepp Blatter, four days after being elected to a fifth term, said he will resign amid a widening probe into corruption involving World Cup bids and kickbacks from sports marketers. ¶ A possible winner from the FIFA scandal is European soccer chief and former French star Michel Platini, who called on Blatter to step down, and is the early betting favorite to be elected as FIFA’s new boss. A possible loser? Qatar, whose plans to host the 2022 World Cup could be in jeopardy because the vote awarding the tournament to the Middle Eastern monarchy has been so controversial. ¶ U.S. and Swiss investigations are ongoing and the guessing game continues about possible future indictments and resignations in soccer’s hierarchy.
IT HAS BEEN a week of upheaval for FIFA, with arrests of top officials in Switzerland last Wednesday, followed by the reelection Friday of Sepp Blatter for a fifth term as president, then Blatter’s decision Tuesday to step down in the coming months. A1