FIFA said Thursday that President Sepp Blatter has started work on what the organization calls "meaningful reform of the administration and structure of FIFA," just days after Blatter's announcement that he intends to step down from his post by the end of the year.
“I had a good, constructive meeting with [FIFA chairman of audit and compliance Domenico] Scala to establish a framework for action and a timetable. I am pleased to take advice and guidance from Mr. Scala,” Blatter said in a statement. “I want a comprehensive programme of reform and I am very aware that only the FIFA Congress can pass these reforms. Furthermore, the Executive Committee has a particular duty to share the responsibility of driving this process.”
Blatter announced Tuesday that he would step down amid a widening criminal scandal investigation involving corruption within FIFA. The U.S. Department of Justice has charged 14 people, including nine current or past high-ranking members of FIFA, in the case. Seven of those charged are awaiting extradition after being arrested in Zurich, Switzerland, prior to the FIFA Congress on Friday.
FOR THE RECORD
12:03 a.m.: An earlier version of this article stated that FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced his resignation on Monday. He made the announcement on Tuesday.
While Blatter himself has yet to be charged with any crime, he is said to be a leading target in the investigation by FBI agents and federal prosecutors in New York.
Also on Thursday, it was announced that World Cup bribery allegations are being investigated by South African authorities.
Lawmaker Anton Alberts of the Freedom Front Plus contended that his party has learned that a previous investigation into possible bribery surrounding South Africa's 2010 World Cup bid was stopped by “high-level interference.”
“[The information] does tell us of an event that took place and an investigation that was stunted from a political level,” said Alberts, an opposition member of parliament.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.