Blatter, 79, announced the decision at an unexpected news conference in Zurich, six days after the FBI raided a hotel in Zurich and arrested several Fifa officials.
After holding the role for 17 years he was re-elected after his only rival, Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Al Hussein withdrew after losing heavily in the first round of voting.
. “I will call an extraordinary congress to elect my successor as soon as possible,” he said. “I am very linked to Fifa and its interests and that is why I have taken this decision.
“What counts most to me is the institution Fifa and football around the world.”
The announcement came as a major surprise to the footballing world, with Blatter adamant he would not step down despite mounting pressure in recent weeks.
Blatter’s announcement comes after Fifa has admitted it paid $10million destined for the South Africa World Cup to an account controlled by the disgraced former vice-president Jack Warner. The payment followed a letter from the South African FA to Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke.
“I had stood again to be elected as I thought it was the best option. The election was closed but the challenges that Fifa are facing have not come to an end. Fifa needs a profound restructuring.
“Although the members of Fifa gave me a new mandate, this mandate does not seem to be supported by everyone in the world.
“I have thoroughly thought about my presidency and the last 40 years in my life. These years were closely related to Fifa. I only want to do the best for Fifa and football.”
Due to existing Fifa rules on the notice periods required for elections and for candidates to present themselves, the election may not take place until at least December.
Domenico Scala, chairman of the Fifa audit and compliance committee addressed the conference after Blatter;
“While the timing will ultimately be up to the executive committee, the timing of election is likely to be between December and March.”
Meanwhile the Swiss attorney general have insisted that Blatter is not under investigation by Swiss authorities. Leaving us no closer to the rationale behind Blatter’s sudden change of mind.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :