Blatter may seek to stay as FIFA boss, source tells Swiss paper

Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:56am EDT
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By Tom Miles

GENEVA (Reuters) - Sepp Blatter may seek to stay on as the president of FIFA, a Swiss newspaper reported on Sunday, less than two weeks after Blatter said he would step down over a major corruption scandal at the organization.

However, Domenico Scala, the official overseeing the process of choosing a new president, said that Blatter's departure was an "indispensable" part of planned reforms to soccer's governing body.

Blatter is under pressure to step down for good as U.S. and Swiss authorities widened their investigations into bribery and corruption at the sport's global governing body. EU lawmakers are among those calling for his immediate departure.

But according to the Schweiz am Sonntag newspaper, Blatter had received messages of support from African and Asian football associations, asking him to rethink his decision to step down.

Blatter was honored by the support and had not ruled out remaining in office, the newspaper said, citing an anonymous source close to him.

Blatter said on June 2 he would step down as FIFA president in the wake of the corruption investigation, having led soccer's world governing body since 1998,, although he would stay on until a successor was elected.

FIFA, in an emailed statement, referred Reuters to the speech Blatter made on June 2 and said they had "no further comment to make".

In his speech, Blatter said: "I have decided to lay down my mandate at an extraordinary elective Congress. I will continue to exercise my functions as FIFA President until that election."   Continued...

FIFA President Sepp Blatter addresses a news conference at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, June 2, 2015.  REUTERS/Ruben Sprich