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Monday 5 December 2016

Blatter under pressure to announce quit date

FIFA president Sepp Blatter (inset) will come under pressure to agree to an early date for the election of his successor at the first meeting of the world governing body's executive committee since the corruption crisis exploded.

The meeting in Zurich today will allocate the date for a special Congress to elect a new president after Blatter's announcement last month that he will step down.

That decision followed mounting pressure on FIFA following a series of arrests, including of seven FIFA officials in Zurich, following an FBI investigation and separate probes by Swiss authorities into the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

There were also revelations of bribes paid for votes for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and increasing concerns from FIFA's sponsors.

Blatter has stated he wants to remain in office until the new election, to be held between December and March, but UEFA wants the 79-year-old to step down as soon as possible, and by December at the latest.

A likely date of the FIFA election looks to be in mid-January - UEFA had been pushing for December 16 but that would clash with FIFA's Club World Cup competition in Japan.

Those pushing for Blatter to leave immediately include UEFA president Michel Platini and other European members of FIFA's executive committee including England's David Gill and Germany's Wolfgang Niersbach. UEFA is also distancing itself from reports that Platini is ready to stand for FIFA president.

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