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Thursday 8 December 2016

FIFA: Blatter will not stand again for top job

Sepp Blatter (pictured) has insisted he has not resigned as FIFA president but the world governing body says the 79-year-old still plans to leave the position.

Blatter announced on June 2 he would step down from the FIFA presidency at an extraordinary congress to be held between December and March. It followed the crisis that engulfed FIFA, with 18 people indicted in the United States on football-related corruption charges.

Now, in what is seen by some as a mischief-making attempt to unsettle his critics, Blatter used his first public appearance since his announcement to say, according to Swiss newspaper Blick: "I have not resigned, I put my mandate in the hands of an extraordinary congress." It follows reports in the Swiss media that Blatter may consider putting his name forward again after being contacted by supportive national associations.

A FIFA source insisted however that Blatter has no intention of standing as a candidate again, saying: "Nothing has changed, he is not going to stand." An official FIFA statement confirmed the quotes in Blick were accurate but added: ''However, they are fully in line with the speech of the president on June 2.''

In that statement on June 2, Blatter did not use the word 'resign' but said he would "lay down my mandate at an extraordinary elective congress" but until that election, he will continue as president.

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