Sepp Blatter told to "leave now" by Prince Ali as Fifa unveils reform plans for organisation in crisis

 
Joe Hall
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Is this really goodbye? Blatter has yet to set a date for his official resignation (Source: Getty)

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has shrugged off calls to step down with immediate effect, confirming he will stay in the role until February 2016 when fresh elections will take place.

Read more: Blatter hints he could stay on as Fifa president

Fifa's executive committee met today for the first time since seven of its members were arrested on charges of corruption earlier this year, to formally open the running for Blatter's replacement.

Yet former candidate for Fifa president Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, declared that his former rival must first leave his position as the head of the organisation in order to allow an independent body to oversee the new election process.

Under-fire following the arrests and numerous allegations of corruption at football's governing body, Blatter announced on 2 June he would be stepping aside as Fifa president.

Last week Fifa sponsor Coca-Cola told Fifa it wants an independent third-party to oversee the reform process.

Prince Ali echoed the sentiment in a statement to the Associated Press:

President Blatter's resignation cannot be dragged out any longer. He must leave now.

An interim independent leadership must be appointed to administer the process of the elections, in addition to the reforms that are being discussed prior to the elections. Only an independent party can ensure that sufficient safeguards are put in place to ensure a robust process and meaningful timetable.

The Jordanian prince also encouraged Fifa to call a date for the elections to be held after March 2016 in order to allow "meaningful change". It is thought a vote this year would leave one of Blatter's allies, Issa Hayatou, best placed to take the reins.

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