London - Sepp Blatter could still perform a U-turn on his promise to stand
down as FIFA president, a former adviser said on Monday, while FIFA did
not directly deny the possibility.
Klaus Stoehlker, who advised
Blatter during the recent election campaign, told Sky News that Blatter
could remain head of world soccer's governing body if a "convincing
candidate" to replace him did not emerge.
FIFA said in a statement
that Stoehlker, who was in a meeting when contacted by Reuters and
unable to comment, was no longer working with Blatter.
Stoehlker's mandate from the FIFA President ended on 31 May 2015. The
FIFA President would like to point to his remarks from 2 June," it said,
referring to Blatter's announcement that he would call a new election
in which he would not be a candidate.
English Football Association chairpersom Greg Dyke does not think Blatter will have a change of heart.
"I think it (a U-turn) is extremely unlikely. I think it would be very controversial," Dyke told Reuters
"There would be a rebellion amongst a lot of people (if he did)."
Blatter has changed his mind in the past. In 2011, he said his fourth
mandate would be his last but he stood again this year.
was re-elected for a fifth term as FIFA president on May 29 when his
opponent Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein withdrew after Blatter had won the
first round of voting by 133 to 73.
Four days later, as corruption
allegations continued to batter FIFA, Blatter said he would stand down
and call a new election, due to be held between December and February.
FBI is investigating bribery and corruption at FIFA, including scrutiny
of how soccer's governing body awarded World Cup hosting rights to
Russia and Qatar.
U.S. Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell
noted on Monday that the investigation into FIFA is not shouldered
solely by the United States and is instead shared by international law
The U.S. Justice Department "has worked
closely with the lead FIFA prosecutors to obtain evidence from numerous
countries across the globe," Caldwell said at the Association of
Certified Fraud Examiners conference in Baltimore.
acting as the world's corruption police, the United States is part of a
formidable and growing coalition of international enforcement partners
who together combat corruption around the world." The confusion
surrounding FIFA's leadership took a new twist on Sunday when the
Schweiz am Sonntag newspaper reported that Blatter, 79, may seek to stay
on as president.
The report said Blatter had received messages of
support from African and Asian football associations, who voted for him
at the election and want him to reconsider his decision.
was honoured by the support and had not ruled out remaining in office,
the newspaper said, citing an anonymous source close to him.
Africa's soccer confederation (CAF) said on Monday that it had not heard of any of its members asking Blatter to stay on.
CAF level we are not aware of any African countries who have written to
ask Blatter to stay on," Kalusha Bwalya, a CAF executive committee
member and president of the Football Association of Zambia, told
"We feel it is better to get on with our own work in the
meantime and see what everyone has to say in the next months. Everybody
is waiting for clarity."
"At the moment there are a lot of rumours
floating about and everyone is rushing to turn the smallest piece of
information into a story."
UEFA insiders told Reuters that
European soccer's governing body was left perplexed by the reports that
Blatter would stand again and that the plot would be too outrageous even
for a Hollywood script.
Officially, European soccer's governing
body did not want to comment but the German football association (DFB)
called on Blatter, who is staying on until the election, to leave
"We only know the media reports which strengthen our
clear position," spokesman Ralf Koettker told reporters. "Blatter's
announced resignation must be formally completed as soon as possible."
coach Joachim Loew said: "As far as I can speak as a coach, FIFA must
have a new structure and there has to be a certain new start because all
of this has damaged football, and that was dangerous. I think resigning
from a resignation should normally not happen."
Scala, the official overseeing the process of choosing a new president,
said on Sunday that Blatter's departure was an "indispensable" part of
planned reforms to soccer's governing body.