By Sulayman Bah
79-year-old Blatter yesterday evening, in the face of controversy rocking his leadership, announced he will resign from football’s most powerful job.
The septuagenarian’s remarks means an end to his 17-year love affair with football –four days after battering presidential rival Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein to secure a fifth term in office in a highly criticized bid.
Gambian ex-football heads who were former colleagues of this long-serving FIFA president reacted to Blatter’s decision and this is what they have to say.
Omar Sey: “People keep saying they are surprised, but I’m not. There have been all kinds of machinations. He won fresh mandate days ago and he’s saying he is going to resign. So he’s going to sit back and watch what happens. He’d brought unity and parity in football. And then comes the one-association, one vote which the Uefa don’t like. Football is going to continue but there’ll be power struggle and turmoil. The Platinis and other people know what they can and cannot do.”
Seedy Kinteh: “It ‘s sad for football. He has brought lot of development to African football and taken our game to new levels, testament of it is the senior and junior World Cups played in Africa. I think he has done his quota to develop the game.”
The Gambia Football Federation’s Lamin Kabba Bajo could not be reached yesterday at press time.
Meanwhile, no timetable has yet been set for the election. Officials have said it could take place any time between December this year and March next year. Blatter will continue in his role until then.