Days before the World Cup kicks off, and Sepp Blatter, the head of soccer’s global governing body FIFA, is facing a barrage of criticism from his peers, whose frustrations at the lack of action over corruption allegations is forcing them to become increasingly vocal.
The Royal Dutch Football Association head Michael van Praag, and David Gill, vice president of UEFA, which governs European soccer, have called on Blatter to not seek re-election next year, according to the BBC.
“Few people still take FIFA seriously and, however you look at it, Blatter is mainly responsible,” said van Praag.
The appeal comes amid reports that illegal payments were made by disgraced Qatari soccer official Mohamed bin Hammam in return for support for its bid to host the 2022 World Cup. Qatar was awarded hosting rights, outdoing Australia, South Korea, Japan and the U.S.
But yesterday Blatter dismissed the latest corruption claims as racist, prompting a critical response from soccer bosses in Europe.
“These allegations need to be properly investigated and properly answered,” said Greg Dyke, chairman of the English Football Association.
Asked by BBC if Blatter ought to step down next year, UEFA vice president Gill replied: “Personally, yes. I think we need to move on.”
So far, Blatter has yet to respond to the calls.