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FIFA reformer Damian Collins wants Sepp Blatter to go immediately

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FIFA reform campaigner Damian Collins MP says Sepp Blatter's resignation is excellent news for world football.

FIFA reform campaigner Damian Collins believes Sepp Blatter should go sooner rather than later after the 79-year-old announced he would stand down as FIFA president.

Blatter, who was re-elected for a fifth term last week, announced at a hastily arranged press conference that he would reliquish his role as soon as his successor is elected.

Collins welcomed the news but called for an independent board to oversee appointing Blatter’s successor and also questioned whether the World Cup should go ahead in Russia and Qatar.

“It’s excellent news for world football that Sepp Blatter is going,” Collins told Sky Sports News HQ. “I would like him to go sooner though. I think he should step down immediately; maybe there could be an interim president and an independent board that could lead FIFA through the process of reform it has to go through.

“But we have to be vigilant on two or three things, one is the issue whether the World Cup should go ahead in Russia and Qatar still firmly remains on the table, I believe they should be re-run.

“And secondly there should be an independent reform process now for FIFA that is led by external people, I think, that can shine some light on the organisation.

“And thirdly, that Sepp Blatter should in no way be now removed from the investigatory process that the FBI and the Swiss authorities are leading on. Clearly something has happened in the last 24 hours or so, and he should still be available for questioning in their investigation.”

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Sepp Blatter has announced he is to resign as president of FIFA and an election will be held to decide his successor.

Collins expects there will be further announcements from the American investigation and believes Blatter’s decision to stand down is related.

“I think that is what it looks like, absolutely” added Collins. “That is maybe what has forced this timetable on FIFA and Sepp Blatter.

“But what we have got to make sure of is that this isn’t some kind of palace coup, whereby powerbrokers at FIFA hoping to usher Sepp Blatter out but retain power and control for themselves and clearly there are massive questions other senior figures at FIFA have to answer.

“And what we wouldn’t want to see is a group of Sepp Blatter’s cronies leading the process of reform in order to protect themselves.”

On Wednesday FIFA whistle blower Chuck Blazer’s full transcript is due to be released and Collins believes there will be further revelations which could explain’s Blatter’s decision to stand down.

“I think that is very likely,” added Collins. “Clearly something has happened the last couple of hours which has convinced Sepp Blatter that his position is totally untenable.

“But if something very serious does come out, I don’t think it will be possible for him to remain as president until early next year.”

“I clearly think there is enough evidence to show that it was corrupt process in 2010 that led to the awarding of the World Cups and it has to be re-run and Sepp Blatter’s resignation doesn’t change that.”

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport John Whittingdale says Blatter’s decision is the news everyone has been waiting for.

"Governments, national associations and international confederations, along with players and fans have all called for Sepp Blatter to resign in recent days," he said. "We welcome his belated announcement today but this is only the beginning of the process of change we need to see from FIFA. I sincerely hope this is the first step to a new FIFA that can command the confidence and respect of the football world once again."

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