Nairobi, June 3:
Kenya football authorities on Wednesday expressed shock over the resignation of Sepp Blatter, president of world football’s governing body FIFA.
Sam Nyamweya, the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president, said they are disappointed with the decision by Blatter to step down on Tuesday, just four days after he was mandated by the FIFA congress to serve a fifth term in charge of the Zurich-based body, reports Xinhua.
“We are not happy. It is a disappointment to see that a person we had hope in, has been shoved aside by other forces outside the sport for their own selfish interest,” said Nyamweya.
“I hope we will elect a new president who will have the interest of football and Africa at heart.”
Blatter was re-elected last week, despite seven top FIFA officials being arrested in a massive corruption probe led by America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Swiss government.
Announcing his shock exit late on Tuesday, the 79-year-old Blatter, who has been FIFA president for 17 years, said his “mandate does not appear to be supported by everybody,” and plans to carry out his duties until a replacement can be elected.
“While I have a mandate from the membership of FIFA, I do not feel that I have a mandate from the entire world of football — the fans, the players, the clubs, the people who live, breathe and love football as much as we all do at FIFA.”
FIFA officials are facing a criminal investigation by Swiss authorities into how the 2018 (Russia) and 2022 (Qatar) World Cups were allocated.
Top FIFA officials are also under investigation by American authorities for alleged corruption. Seven FIFA officials have been arrested from the 14 people indicted in the scandal that has rocked world football.
Issa Hayatou, the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), said they fully supported Blatter.
“What made us support Blatter is that he has truly helped the African continent. By allocating this 2010 World Cup, by the various training courses he organised, by the various sporting facilities constructed. All of this rallied the continent to support his cause,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
Hayatou noted that the money FIFA gives to national associations is the same for every association, including the very rich like Germany.
“I am president of the FIFA finance committee, as well as of the development committee. It is at the level of my committee that it all happens. The sharing is equitable. All federations across the world, big or small, have the same amount,” he added. (IANS)