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Friday 9 December 2016

'Blatter must quit to save FIFA's credibility'

Sepp Blatter must stand down as FIFA president if the governing body's branding is not to suffer irreparable damage.

That is the view of sports marketing consultant Nigel Currie in the wake of the hugely damaging revelations over allegations of bribery and corruption.

Blatter, 79, is seeking a fifth term in office as he prepares to go head to head with Prince Ali Bin al Hussein of Jordan in FIFA's presidential election today.

However, Currie believes he must vacate his throne if the organisation is to salvage its reputation.

He said: "It's farcical, really. For him to believe he can carry on, he is living in a fantasy world because the wave of opinion against him is so great that you couldn't possibly hope to go on with any credibility with what is happening, and probably a lot more to come out. It's not going to go away, this story. It's like a politician - well, he is a politician - who is involved in a scandal or some crisis. It can only go on for so long before eventually you have to fall on your sword.

"I am amazed it hasn't happened yet, but it's got to happen. He's a busted flush, really.

"To try to hold on to power is ridiculous at this stage because the brand of FIFA is so badly damaged, something radical has got to happen to turn that around, and that starts at the top."

FIFA was plunged into crisis when police swooped in Zurich to arrest seven officials, including two vice-presidents, amid claims of impropriety surrounding World Cup bidding, the 2011 presidential election and major sponsorship deals.

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