Report: Sepp Blatter attempting to be elected FIFA honorary president
Suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter wants to be named an honorary president of the soccer governing body, his advisor Klaus Stohlker told the Russian news agency TASS on Thursday.
Blatter has served as FIFA president since 1998 and was re-elected for a fifth term earlier this year. But he announced his plans to resign from his post just four days after winning the election as FIFA became the target of a widespread corruption investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Blatter plans to remain FIFA president until the next elections are held on Feb. 26, 2016. But he was suspended in October by FIFA for alleged wrongdoing regarding a 2006 World Cup television contract, as well as a controversial payment made to UEFA president Michel Platini in 2011.
CONCACAF president Alfredo Hawit and CONMEBOL president Juan Angel Napout were among a number of FIFA officials arrested early Thursday morning in Zurich by Swiss authorities, who were acting on behalf of the Department of Justice. The new wave of arrest follow the May arrests of several top soccer officials at the same hotel.
Hawit was named acting president of CONCACAF after previous president Jeffrey Webb was charged with racketeering, money laundering and fraud by the Department of Justice in May. Webb was among the FIFA officials detained during the May raid at Baur au Lac.
Other notable arrests Thursday morning include those of the former and current president of the Brazil soccer federation, Ricardo Teixeira and Marco Polo del Nero, The New York Times also reported.
Blatter was not among the executives and officials arrested. Cameroon’s Issa Hayatou is serving as FIFA's acting chief until the next election.
- Christopher Chavez