FFA welcomes Blatter resignation

Football Federation Australia has released a statement welcoming the decision of FIFA President Sepp Blatter to resign.

The statement read: "FIFA needs fresh leadership and the resignation of the President is a first step.

"The challenge is not just to change the top elected position, but the governance structure at all levels and the culture that underpins it.

"Australia will remain an active voice within the forums of FIFA and AFC in promoting governance reform and a new era of transparency."

Blatter brought an end to his 17-year tenure at the head of world football's governing body on Tuesday, four days after being re-elected for a fifth term.

In a sensational development, the 79-year-old announced his resignation in Zurich at a hastily arranged press conference, confirming an Extraordinary Congress will be held to appoint his successor.

The move caps a remarkable week that started with a corruption scandal engulfing the organisation, and finished with the exit of its president. 

The Professional Footballers Australia also welcomed Blatter's resignation, with chief executive Adam Vivian stating the governance of the game was key.

“How football is run and the strength of the players’ voice in the process is an issue that all our members are passionate about,” Vivian said.

“The governance of football affects the wellbeing of the sport and in turn the livelihoods of professional footballers.

“Governance reform is vital as it directly impacts on the players in areas such as integrity, doping and the non-payment of players.

"The ability for football to have an effective regulatory response to the challenges depends on its own good governance."

UEFA president Michel Platini backed Blatter's resignation, describing it as "the right decision".

Platini said in a statement: "It was a difficult decision, a brave decision, and the right decision."

FIFA's Audit and Compliance Comittee chairman Domenico Scala says Blatter's resignation could prove key in changing the way football's governing body runs.

Scala remarked Blatter's departure could serve as a vital step in restructuring FIFA, explaining: "I have a great amount of respect for the president and the role that he has played in championing reform within FIFA.

"As he has recognised, we have worked hard to put in place governance reforms. But this has not been enough.

"By making this announcement, he has created an opportunity for us to go further than FIFA has before – to fundamentally change the way in which FIFA is structured.

"I am committed to working to facilitate the implementation of the reforms that the President has outlined and to putting in place the conditions for the election of a new president.

"As the president has stated, these reforms will include fundamental changes to the way in which this organisation is structured – steps that go far beyond the actions that have been implemented to this point.

"I would like to provide you with additional details into the process that FIFA will follow moving forward."

Scala also confirmed a four-month notice period was required for presidential elections to be held, adding they could take place between December this year and March 2016.