Global reaction to Sepp Blatter’s decision to resign

Jun 2, 2015, 2:30 PM
FILE – In this Friday, Nov. 19, 2010 file photo FIFA President Sepp Blatter pauses during a p...
FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 19, 2010 file photo FIFA President Sepp Blatter pauses during a press conference following a meeting of the Executive Committee in Zurich, Switzerland. FIFA President Sepp Blatter will resign from soccer's governing body amid a widening corruption scandal and promised Tuesday to call for fresh elections to choose a successor. (Photo/Steffen Schmidt, Keystone via AP, File)
(Photo/Steffen Schmidt, Keystone via AP, File)

Reaction from around the globe to Sepp Blatter’s sudden announcement Tuesday that he will step down as FIFA president amid a corruption scandal:

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“It was a difficult decision, a brave decision, and the right decision.” — Michel Platini, president of European soccer federation UEFA.

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“A good day for FIFA and for football … Change is finally coming. I said on Friday that the day would come sooner or later. Here it is! Now we should, responsibly and calmly, find a consensual solution worldwide in order to start new era of dynamism, transparency and democracy in FIFA.” — Former Portugal great and one-time FIFA presidential candidate Luis Figo.

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“I think that it is the right move from Sepp Blatter and I think we have to look to the future … I am at the disposal of all the national associations who want a change, including all of those who were afraid to make a change.” — Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, who lost to Blatter in last Friday’s election:

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“We highly respect this decision of President Blatter to step down and to initiate the necessary reforms — and to make way for a new leadership of FIFA to drive these changes.” — IOC President Thomas Bach.

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“FIFPro welcomes the decision of FIFA president Sepp Blatter to resign as this creates an overdue and unique opportunity to fundamentally reform the governance of football. … The effort will fail without the direct involvement of the players.” — world players’ union FIFPro.

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Michel Platini “suits the role of president of FIFA better than anyone else … (He is) a more prepared and experienced person.” — Russian Football Union acting president Nikita Simonyan.

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“The CBF sees the announcement of the resignation of Joseph Blatter with surprise. It’s a decision that is personal and deserves our most profound understanding.” — Brazil’s football confederation, the CBF.

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“It is a good afternoon. I think it’s brilliant for world football. This is the start of something new.” — England’s Football Association chairman Greg Dyke.

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“I wanted change for the FIFA and this may be a very big step in the right direction. Let’s truly accomplish.” — Dutch FA chief and one-time FIFA presidential candidate Michael van Praag on Twitter.

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“Blatter wasn’t sole responsible, more have to follow. Transparency and voting reform, then we move on and bring back ethics.”– Manchester City and Belgium defender Vincent Kompany on Twitter.

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“The announcement today by President Blatter represents an exceptional and immediate opportunity for positive change within FIFA. I commend him for making a decision that puts FIFA and the sport we love above all other interests.” — U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati.

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“I want the full facts around the bidding to be known. If there was fairness and transparency, then good, well done. If it is found there was improper behavior in any way they must have a look at whether they should reopen the processes.” — Simon Johnson, member of England’s team which unsuccessfully bid to stage the 2018 World Cup.

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“We welcome his belated announcement today but this is only the beginning of the process of change we need to see from FIFA. I sincerely hope this is the first step to a new FIFA that can command the confidence and respect of the football world once again.” — British Culture Secretary John Whittingdale.

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“As I announced following the election at FIFA Congress, I simply could not countenance serving on the FIFA Executive Committee alongside Mr. Blatter. I respect his decision but am pleased he is standing aside and by the clear determination for real change within FIFA. This in turn allows me to reconsider my position.” — English FA Vice Chairman David Gill.

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“His fall will come as a tsunami to every corrupt leader in the confederations around the world. … We need the corrupt ones in prison, and we need the contributions from great idols, good sports leaders and football lovers.” — Former Brazil great Romario.

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“This man (Blatter) was probably and surely under a lot of pressure and he resigned from the game and now it’s time to reboot FIFA and reboot the game of football and that’s the most important.” — Former France winger and one-time FIFA presidential candidate David Ginola.

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Global reaction to Sepp Blatter’s decision to resign