Few hours after his appointment as the new acting President of FIFA following the suspension of Sepp Blatter from office along with the association’s secretary general, Jerome Valcke, CAF President, Issa Hayatou has confirmed that he will not stand for the permanent role in February.
A statement issued by the Camorounian read: “Today, amid extraordinary circumstances, I have assumed the office of FIFA President pursuant to Article 32 (6) of the FIFA Statutes. I will serve only on an interim basis. A new President will be chosen by the Extraordinary Congress on 26 February 2016. I myself will not be a candidate for that position.
“Until the Extraordinary Congress, I pledge that I will dedicate my best efforts to the organization, the member associations, our employees, our valued partners, and football fans everywhere. FIFA remains committed to the reform process, which is critical to reclaiming public trust. We will also continue to cooperate fully with authorities and follow the internal investigation wherever it leads.
“Football has never enjoyed greater support throughout the world, and that is something everyone associated with FIFA should be proud of.
Meanwhile, in a related development, David Gill, the British member of the FIFA Executive, along with Wolfgang Niersbach, the German representative, have today (Thursday) called for an emergency meeting of the FIFA Executive to discuss this morning’s events. They are conscious that both the President and General Secretary of FIFA are currently suspended.
We also understand there will be a meeting of the 54 UEFA nations as soon as next week.
“The FA committed this summer to supporting Mr Platini in his bid to become the next President of FIFA. At The FA Board meeting last week, we decided that remained our position while inquiries into certain allegations were being investigated.
“We now await the results of both the Ethics Committee inquiry and the investigation of the Swiss Attorney General. We note that Mr Platini has issued a strong statement protesting his innocence.”
In a related development, the International Olympic Committee has called on FIFA to reform urgently after its president Sepp Blatter, vice-president Michel Platini and secretary general Jerome Valcke were suspended.
The trio were banned for 90 days by Fifa’s ethics committee as it probes corruption allegations against them.
“Enough is enough,” IOC president Thomas Bach said.
“Fifa cannot remain passive – they must act swiftly to regain credibility.”
Bach also called on Fifa to accept “a credible external presidential candidate of high integrity”, with the governing body due to choose Blatter’s successor at its next congress in February.
However, a close friend and adviser of Blatter has said the 79-year-old Swiss “will have the final word”.