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Monday 5 December 2016

Delaney: 'FIFA need to change culture'

FAI Chief Executive John Delaney says that world football can't afford to waste the opportunity of Sepp Blatter's exit from FIFA as a chance to change the "culture" of football.

Blatter revealed last night that he plans to step down as FIFA president, though it may take some time to elect and appoint a successor.

But Delaney, who voted against Blatter in last week's election, says ther process of change cannot wait.

"It's a good day for world football but it's now important that the debate moves on, that we use this opportunity to change the culture of FIFA," Delaney told RTE. "The culture of FIFA was one of corruption and bribery, nothing to do with 'the beautiful game'. As I described it last week, it was more of a mafia movie than football.

"You need overall change and it will be interesting who the next president will be and the sooner this extraordinary congress is called the better, with a president who really believes in change," added Delaney, who took over as FAI CEO in 2004 and is contracted in that post until 2020.

"I am delighted that Blatter has stepped down, I am just hopeful that we can carry that change through now, we have this once-off opportunity to get world football back onto the front pages for the right reasons," he added. "If you go back to the International Olympic Council when they had issues a few years ago, they changed that culture very quickly with a strong president who brought in good governance procedures.

"I felt last week that he would survive the vote but there was a momentum from sponsors and others, be it the FBI, the British government, or from within football."

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