Northern Ireland

Sepp Blatter resignation good for football says IFA's Patrick Nelson

Patrick Nelson Image copyright PACEMAKER
Image caption IFA chief executive Patrick Nelson said it was time for change at Fifa

Sepp Blatter's resignation from Fifa is good for football, Irish Football Association (IFA) chief executive Patrick Nelson has said.

Reports from the US suggest that Mr Blatter is being investigated by the FBI as part of a corruption inquiry.

He resigned in a surprise news conference on Tuesday night, but strongly denies any wrongdoing.

Mr Nelson said it was time for people within Fifa to begin to bring reform to the organisation.

US prosecutors launched a criminal inquiry last week, with seven Fifa officials arrested in Switzerland, part of a group of 14 people indicted.

Two days after the arrests, Mr Blatter was re-elected president of Fifa.

"We felt it was time for change last week, we feel it's time for change this week and the fact that Mr Blatter has actually seen that at last - I'm not quite sure why's it's happened this quickly - but the fact that it has happened this quickly, I think is a cause for us to think positively."

'Clear message'

Mr Nelson said it had been made clear to Fifa that change was needed.

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Media captionIFA chief Nelson welcomes Blatter resignation

"I think what we need to focus on now is how Fifa does reform itself and what sort of new president it actually chooses," he said.

"The eyes of the world are on Fifa at the moment. There was a clear enough message last week that change is required.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Blatter announced his resignation in a surprise news conference on Tuesday night

"Now it's up to people like ourselves as members and voters within Fifa to make it very clear that Fifa cannot be run in that way."

Mr Nelson said that while outside help could be a benefit, it was important that Fifa reformed from within.

"If Fifa started to bring on independent members to the global executive, I think that would be very helpful," he said.

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