FIFA's top spokesman resigns days after telling a Sepp Blatter joke

Walter De Gregorio steps down as FIFA communications director after poking fun at organization on TV talk show

Have you heard the one about the FIFA communications director who thought it was a good idea to tell a joke about the embattled world soccer governing body on a TV talk show?

It's no joke.

And Walter De Gregorio is no longer FIFA's communications director. He stepped down Thursday, three days after delivering this knee-slapper on German-language station SRF:

β€œThe FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, the director of communications and the general secretary are all sitting in a car – who is driving? The police.”

De Gregorio's deputy, Nicolas Maingot, will become the new communications director.

The three people mentioned in De Gregorio's joke -- Blatter, De Gregorio and General Secretary Jerome Valcke -- were not among the FIFA officials indicted on corruption charges by the U.S. Department of Justice late last month.

Still, the jab comes at a tough time for the organization, which will be seeking new leadership once Blatter steps down by the end of this year.

And in what appears to be another matter of poor timing, this quote from Blatter came out two hours after De Gregorio's resignation was announced:

"FIFA is going through difficult times. This makes me all the more proud that our organization runs smoothly in a crisis.” 

The quote is from Blatter's column in FIFA's in-house magazine. He is thought to be referring to the smooth-running under-20 and women's World Cups in New Zealand and Canada, but perhaps it could have been released at a different time.

Yep, looks like change might be a good idea for FIFA's communications department.

Twitter: @chewkiii

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