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U.S. Soccer, CONCACAF and more react to Blatter’s resignation

Photo by Valeriano di Domenico/AFP/Getty Images


Sepp Blatter stepped away from the sport he has headed for a little more than four terms Tuesday, leaving some across the soccer community to jest and exclaim while others praised Blatter for his awareness of the situation at hand.

Blatter had just been re-elected for a fifth consecutive term as president of FIFA, but with allegations pinning secretary general Jerome Valcke, Blatter’s righthand man, in the corruption scandal, and the investigation even now reaching Blatter himself, the pressure to maintain the status quo was too much.

Blatter announced his resignation, and the world reacted. Some members of the soccer community lauded Blatter’s decision to step down. United States Soccer president Sunil Gulati said the decision made by Blatter is a respectable one because the now former president finally came to realize that the game is more important than any single person, including Blatter, himself.

“The announcement today by President Blatter represents an exceptional and immediate opportunity for positive change within FIFA,” Gulati said in a press release after Blatter’s press conference. “I commend him for making a decision that puts FIFA and the sport we love above all other interests.

“This is the first of many steps towards real and meaningful reform within FIFA. Today is an occasion for optimism and belief for everyone who shares a passion for our game.”

CONCACAF responded to the resignation as well, focusing on the future and rehabilitation of FIFA and the sport as a whole.

“We are at an important moment for the game, a moment that we must not squander,” CONCACAF president Alfredo Hawit said in a press release. “CONCACAF stands ready to assist in the process of rebuilding FIFA in a way that strengthens the game for many years to come.”

Two of FIFA’s biggest sponsors, Coca-Cola and Budweiser, also had some things to say about the situation. Like CONCACAF, Coca-Cola focused on the good Blatter’s decision will do for the future of the sport, while Budweiser hopes the ‘beautiful game’ can be the sole focus of FIFA once again.

“We respect Mr. Blatter’s decision,” Coca-Cola said in a statement Tuesday. “The announcement today is a positive step for the good of sport, football and its fans. Our expectation remains that FIFA will continue to act with urgency to take concrete actions to fully address all of the issues that have been raised and win back the trust of all who love the sport of football. We believe this decision will help FIFA transform itself rapidly into a much-needed 21st century structure and institution.”

“We expect today’s announcement to accelerate FIFA’s efforts to resolve internal issues, install positive change and adhere to the highest ethical standards and transparency,” Budweiser said in their statement about Blatter stepping down. “We look forward to the beauty of the game taking center-stage again for football fans around the globe.”

Meanwhile, current UEFA president Michel Platini also came out in support of Blatter’s move away from the game, saying to BBC Sport: “It was a difficult decision, a brave decision, and the right decision.”

Elsewhere, the Netherlands organizing soccer body also welcomed the decision of Blatter stepping down.

“Given the campaign conducted by Michael van Praag and the KNVB, it will be clear that the Netherlands Football Association welcomes Sepp Blatter’s resignation as president of FIFA,” Netherlands governing body of soccer KNVB said in response to Blatter’s resignation.

“The fact that he has chosen to step down only days after his reelection is striking but no cause for speculation as far as the KNVB is concerned. Everyone who has seen the images and followed the news knows that Mr Blatter’s reelection failed to bring the peace he wanted.”

What is your response to Blatter’s resigning? Who will succeed Blatter as head of FIFA?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Sorry to break the circle je… but it doesn’t look like Blatter’s resignation does anything for regular folks like myself. The World Cup will still be played and it’ll most likely be awesome like the previous ones. FIFA video games will still sell like crazy. One downside to the whole thing is that Fox got the rights for 2022 and they just suck at doing football. Other than that I really could not care less who’s president.

    • So a new president and new system that could prevent loss of several thousand lives if they can manage to clear up Qatar is not on your radar?

      Video games, TV, and fun are important, but this stuff impacts lives in the real world, in a major way.

      Perhaps this isnt about ‘regular folks” like yourself.

      • Thanks for that comment, Iggy. It can’t be stated enough that FIFA’s corruption does a lot more damage than just lining the pockets of kleptocrats.

      • That’s cute and all but totally wrong. The deaths will happen with or without the World Cup. The only hope is that the World Cup brings enough attention to that region of the world and forces them to enact worker protection laws. Got anything else?

      • One fight at a time, negative nancy. If FIFA takes the WC away from Qatar, then there won’t be a reason to keep those workers there and that could save the lives of the others remaining. It’ll also come down to who’s elected in FIFA. If a reformist is elected and they weed out the corruption, they will take action on this, but that’s if this happens. This matter will be dealt with properly in the future and neither you, me, or anyone else can predict that.

      • Espanda, I’m not sure if you have been watching the news, but record heat waves in India have killed thousands, in just the past couple weeks. Nepal just had an earthquake, or two. These workers in Qatar might just be happier than if they were in their home countries. Taking the World Cup from Qatar might do more damage then good.

      • Are you implying that they might be better off in Qatar working in slave conditions? Unless I’m proven wrong about their conditions otherwise, no. Just no. Shame on you. Natural disasters come and go. Some of those workers may have families back home and they might wanna be there to check on them, just throwing that out there. Stopping this WC in Qatar might mean they can be released from their contracts and be free to go home or search for work in another country that will give them decent wage and a standard of living. Unless the Qatari government grants them these things, I see no alternative.

      • Wrong. Qatar has been in a construction boom for a couple of decades and is projected to stay that way For a while. Schools, housing, museums, markets….. This things will get built with or without the World Cup.
        A clean or corrupt FIFA makes no difference to any of us as long as they keep producing an awesome WC every four years.

      • Oh, thought you were referring to workers that came to work on all the FIFA-related construction projects. Could you be specific next time? Of course Qatar will get these things built because they are rich, but those workers are coming there primarily to work on projects for the WC. If there’s no World Cup, the workers will wise up and take their business elsewhere. And speak for yourself about FIFA.

      • it does sound like you are speaking for workers who are in Qatar actually making a living. the minimum wage in Nepal is 45 cents an hour. the minimum wage in india is even less.

      • Well that’s just a pile of callous bs right there. Sure, Qatar will keep building things, but when specific projects are being built for my amusement, with my knowledge, then yes, we are all morally culpable for that. And we care because well, we’re humans. It’s what we do.

        Look, I’m a straight, white, well educated financially secure male. I have had every privilege associated with that. So why should I care? What do I care about women’s rights? Gay rights? Religious discrimination? Racial discrimination? The only time in my life I’ve faced discrimination was when I have had to pay a higher bribe because some functionary figured all Americans are rich so why not? (The struggle is real!) because it’s what makes us different from any other creature on earth, that’s why.

      • +1

        Rob’s a thirteen year old troll, and I dearly hope he’ll develop into a thinking, feeling human, but my gut tells me he will continue to decay in his parents basement playing Fifa and celebrating foreign calamities.

        Rob, for your sake, pick up a newspaper, help an old lady cross the street, and get out of your parent’s basement!

      • Yes, the WC is just part of the problem happening in Qatar, but stopping/ fixing the country’s biggest ever construction project is a nice start.

        Aside from that, let’s see, equal rights for female players, development funds used to grow the game that you love (not corrupt execs personal purchases), a legitimate system for the leadership organization….

        There’s a lot to do, but much to look forward to, if it’s done right.

      • I agree that the issues with the bidding process and the conditions for foreign workers in Qatar are a huge problem and need to be addressed.

        However, maybe the best thing for the workers would be putting the screws to Qatar to clean up the abuses or lose the WC. Losing the WC now will remove the impetus to change. Dangle the carrot and see how much they are willing to do. Give them a timetable and certain expectations as far as worker rights, and if things are not cleaned up by say 2018, then pull it. Four years is plenty of time for any number of countries to put together a first-class WC.

        I think the potential loss of prestige as well as the financial cost of losing the WC will do more for worker’s conditions that pulling out now.

      • Iggy, I agree with you in that Qatar should be eliminated as a WC site for the reasons you state. Also, Putin should forfeit the Russian 2018 WC because his actions in the Ukraine have created 6400 deaths (UN count), shooting down a passenger jet (over 300 deaths) and the stealing of the Crimea peninsula. Putin was a big supporter of Blatter & I bet bribed him & FIFA to get the 2018 WC.

    • Why do you care if FIFA video games still sell like crazy? I mean, I agree that recent editions have kind of under-delivered on the fun factor, but is this really “bad news”? Why would these games not selling well “do anything for regular folks like yourself”

      I agree it sucks about Fox, for sure. That is one problem that won’t get solved.

    • What about other regular folks like those who were relocated from their favelas in favor of building big one-event, tenant-less stadiums turned bus terminals? Fifa was responsible for Brazil’s forced urban renewal, that they couldn’t afford, and which lined the pockets of a certain few who won oversized contracts for the construction.. Those weren’t regular folks protesting down there? Sepp Blatter claimed they didn’t exist, or that he didn’t see them in any case. Valcke said in the lead up to the world cup that the country needed a kick up the a**.

      This is less about where the world cup is played and who televises it, it isn’t even so much about soccer, as most soccer fans might have us believe. Fifa is a culture of corruption, a macho one at that, that propagates to other political and social realms all over the world.

    • you might want to come back and explain this one, rob. because it *sounds* like you’re saying you don’t care about thousands of dead slaves directly related to world cup construction, as long as you get to watch some “awesome” soccer. i’m sure that’s not what you’re trying to say.

      but yeah, soccer on fox is the real tragedy here.

      • I do care, That’s why I’ve always said the WC should stay in Qatar to keep the spotlight in the situation. Pulling out now won’t save a single worker. But this is not a FIFA or Blatter made problem. This was happening before they were awarded the WC and this is as good a chance we’ll have to change things.
        Back to my main point: regardless of who’s president of FIFA it changes nothing on my end.

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