Sepp Blatter was not among those FIFA officials arrested in Zurich this morning; we do not know if he is among those under investigation for World Cup bribery allegations. But in a statement, a group that monitors corporate, political, and organizational corruption around the globe called for Blatter to step down.
Transparency International (which is probably best known for its semi-annual Corruption Index) has long criticized Blatter’s governance of FIFA. Today’s raids and arrests galvanized it into issuing its strongest statement yet:
Cobus de Swardt, Managing Director of Transparency International said:
“The warning signs for FIFA have been there for a long time. FIFA has refused to abide by many basic standards of good governance that would reduce the risk of corruption.
“These scandals have taken place under Sepp Blatter’s watch of FIFA, which spans almost two decades. For the sake of the fans, and good governance of football, it is time for him to step down. The elections for president are not credible if they are tainted with these allegations by the highest prosecuting authorities.
“Blatter must stand down and new elections called to mark a new era of FIFA leadership. At the same time there must be full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest and the pay of the executive committee members. Their hands need to be clean and seen to be clean.”