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Out with the old, in with a (hopefully) bright new world

By Steven Beacom

Published 03/06/2015

Hands on: Sepp Blatter with the World Cup trophy
Hands on: Sepp Blatter with the World Cup trophy

So, who now? Sepp Blatter was the Fifa President for 17 long years and has finally decided to walk away. Not before time.

Another question, why now? You have to wonder.

It was only last Friday that he was re-elected for a FIFTH time by Fifa members, bullishly declaring in his victory speech: "I take the responsibility to bring back Fifa where it should be."

Perhaps trying to appeal to the fans, he then started chanting like one. He roared: "Let's go Fifa! Let's go Fifa!"

As all the smiling members who voted for him somehow stopped themselves from joining in, everyone else on planet football was thinking: "Please go Sepp! Please go Sepp!"

And what do you know, yesterday he did the decent thing.

From taking total responsibility for putting right everything that was wrong with Fifa to running away from it.

What a staggering U-turn. I'm not sure even the great Lionel Messi could have come with a dazzling dummy like that which bamboozled everyone.

Meanwhile, FBI investigations continue into corruption at Fifa. There were seven arrests made last week.

More to follow? We shall see.

Also in his victory speech Blatter stated: "I am not perfect, nobody is perfect, but we will do a good job together I am sure."

He got the first part right, having been head of an organisation with high ranking officials up to no good for years.

Russian and Qatari football bigwigs, fearing their World Cups in 2018 and 2022 will face more scrutiny, may shed a few tears, but there will be many more jumping for joy, though delirious FA Chairman Greg Dyke was perhaps going a little bit over the top last night.

In all of his interviews I was waiting for him to start popping champagne corks. I doubt he could be more happy if England were to win a World Cup. We shall never know I guess.

Just because Blatter is on his way out though, it doesn't mean that all of football's ills will suddenly be magically cured.

Back to the original question, so, who now?

I see David Ginola has thrown his hat into the ring again. More chance of David Miliband getting elected. Others like Michel Platini and Prince Ali might come to the fore.

Forget the names for a moment and think about what Fifa and football needs... someone we can trust, someone who demands transparency, someone who is open, someone who will radically overhaul how Fifa is run, someone who will rid the sport of corruption and shame... and someone new.

Out with the old.

Good riddance Sepp.

Hopefully we can get our beautiful game back now.

Belfast Telegraph

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