AFC cool to reports of Blatter staying
THE Asian Football Confederation (AFC) remains unmoved by reports that Sepp Blatter may seek to stay on as Fifa president despite announcing his intention to resign amid a major corruption scandal.
Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag reported that Blatter had not ruled out staying in office after being honoured by messages of support from African and Asian football associations.
Support for his leadership has traditionally been strong in the 46-nation Asian bloc, but the AFC declined to throw its weight behind any push to keep the Swiss in power for a fifth term.
"With regard to recent media stories, the Asian Football Confederation confirms its position as previously outlined, namely that the AFC takes note of the Fifa president's intention to step down at an extraordinary congress scheduled to be called later this year or early next year, which will be the subject of the upcoming Fifa executive committee meeting on July 20," the AFC said in a statement e-mailed to Reuters yesterday.
"AFC fully respects the decision of the Fifa president to step down and is sure that it was taken after deep and careful consideration."
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) said on Monday it had not heard of any of its members asking Blatter to stay on.
"At 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 Reuters.
"We feel it is better to get on with our own work in the meantime and see what everyone has to say in the (coming) months. Everybody is waiting for clarity."