STRASBOURG: The European Parliament has urged outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter to step down with immediate effect so that world football’s governing body can fully address its corruption scandal.

Blatter announced his resignation last week amid revelations relating to the arrest of several high-ranking officials on charges filed by US prosecutors.

Nevertheless, the long-serving figurehead of global football is set to remain in office until at least December before his successor is elected, and the European Parliament believes his continued presence will prevent Fifa from undertaking immediate reforms.

European Union lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favour of an eight-page resolution making a range of demands upon FIFA to root out “rampant, systemic and deep-rooted” corruption that had made a “devastating impact” on all levels of football. The resolution is not legally binding.

Although it welcomed Blatter’s decision to stand down, the European Parliament called on FIFA to select “an appropriate interim leader” in a “transparent and inclusive way”.

The European Parliament has also asked FIFA to publish the report of former US prosecutor Michael Garcia into the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in full.

It praised the stance of FIFA audit and compliance committee chairman Domenico Scala, who said that Russia and Qatar could be stripped of their hosting rights for the respective tournaments should evidence of bribery and corruption in their bids come to light.


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