Outgoing FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who announced Tuesday afternoon that he plans to quit the job, is the focus of a federal corruption investigation, The New York Times reported, citing U.S. law enforcement officials.
Blatter has distanced himself from allegations of corruption at FIFA since Swiss police arrested seven soccer officials last week as part of probes in the United States and Switzerland. He has not been charged with any wrongdoing, and the Swiss Attorney General's office said Tuesday it was not investigating Blatter.
U.S. officials told the newspaper they had hoped to gain cooperation from some FIFA officials already under indictment to build a case against Blatter. Last week, U.S. authorities said nine soccer officials and five sports media and promotion executives faced charges involving more than $150 million of alleged bribes.
Blatter earlier Tuesday said he would leave his post and call a congress to elect a new president as soccer's governing body starts a "profound overhaul." Last week, Blatter—who has led the organization since 1998—won re-election amid ongoing investigations of corruption within FIFA. He said he will continue serving until FIFA holds its next election. (Tweet this)
"For years, we have worked hard to put in place administrative reforms, but it is plain to me that while these must continue, they are not enough," Blatter said at a press conference, which was called quickly on Tuesday afternoon.