Days after being elected FIFA president for a fifth term, Sepp Blatter resigned. You don’t have to be too much of a cynic to expect some ‘revelations’ in the coming weeks and months.
Blatter’s re-election caused substantial damage to an organisation that has had a well-earned and major reputational issue for years.
Football fans, the media and those with a keen eye have long questioned the actions of football’s governing body, calling it to account for corruption, bad decisions, and human rights issues around Qatar’s World Cup construction. Two PR agencies withdrew from a pitch process to represent FIFA in 2014, so toxic is the organisation.
Fans’ love of the game will have provided the organisation with some cushioning against public and political sentiment; few organisations could have continued for so long with trust so astonishingly low.
But still, FIFA’s reputation and credibility has never been lower and actions taken in the coming weeks will have a lasting effect. FIFA cannot continue as it is. Blatter’s resignation brings the opportunity for real transformation, and football fans are expecting it.
Handled properly, FIFA now has the opportunity to make decisions that will slowly claw back any sense of credibility, and make the organisation relevant to and representative of today’s footballing world.