Sepp Blatter's Fifa exit overdue, says FAW chief Jonathan Ford

Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter succeeded Joao Havelange as Fifa president in 1998

Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford has welcomed Sepp Blatter's resignation as Fifa president - but says it is overdue.

Blatter has called an extraordinary Fifa congress "as soon as possible" to elect a new president.

Blatter was re-elected last week, despite seven top Fifa officials being arrested amid a corruption scandal.

"He's been a fantastic leader, but arguably one that probably stayed on a little too long," said Ford.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales, he added: "We do welcome the news and think that, with somebody new at the helm, we will hopefully get into a new era and take Fifa and football even further forward."

Blatter was re-elected president of Fifa for a fifth term on Friday, beating Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, for whom the FAW had voted.

Jonathan Ford
Jonathan Ford was appointed chief executive of the FAW in 2009

Speaking at the announcement of his resignation, Blatter said: "My mandate does not appear to be supported by everybody.

"The next ordinary Fifa congress will take place on 13 May, 2016 in Mexico City.

"This would create unnecessary delay and I will urge the executive committee to organise an extraordinary congress for the election of my successor at the earliest opportunity."

The extraordinary congress is expected to take place between December 2015 and March 2016.

Fifa was rocked last week by the arrests on charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering as part of a US prosecution that also indicted 14 people.

A separate criminal investigation by Swiss authorities into how the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were allocated is also under way.

Despite the controversy of Blatter's reign, Ford believes the Swiss deserves some praise for his 17 years in charge of Fifa.

"We are as amazed as anyone else is [by Blatter's resignation]. Let's place credit where credit is due," said Ford.

"He's been at the helm and taken world football to be what it is today."

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