Ennio Leanza/Keystone via AP images

FIFA communications chief Walter De Gregorio has resigned after four years with the organization

By SI Wire
June 11, 2015

FIFA director of communications and public affairs Walter De Gregorio resigned on Thursday after more than four years with the organization, FIFA announced.

De Gregorio’s resignation is effective immediately, but he will stay on as a consultant for the rest of the year.

FIFA said deputy communications director Nicolas Maingot will serve in the role as an interim.

“Walter has worked incredibly hard for the past four years and we are immensely grateful for all he has done. I am glad we will be able to continue to draw on his expertise until the end of the year,” FIFA secretary general Jérôme Valcke said.

De Gregorio, who was hired by FIFA in October 2011, said that it was a "good day" for FIFA when the U.S. Department of Justice arrested some of the organization's current and former senior leadership.

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The Justice Department indicted nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives on May 28 and charged them with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering, saying there was "rampant, systemic and deep-rooted" corruption in efforts to pocket money for bribes in exchange for hosting soccer tournaments.

When asked how FIFA president Sepp Blatter reacted to the arrests, De Gregorio said that he wasn’t happy.

“Well, he is not dancing in his office. He is very calm, he is fully co-operative with everything. That’s what I meant. He’s not a happy man, saying wow wow,” De Gregorio said.

On Monday, De Gregorio made a joke about the FIFA scandal in an appearance on Swiss TV. 

"FIFA president Sepp Blatter, the director of communications, and the secretary general are all sitting in a car—who is driving?"

"The police."

Blatter was reelected to a fifth, four-year term as FIFA’s president days after the indictments were announced. He announced his intention to resign four days later.

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