Sepp Blatter has announced that he has not officially resigned as Fifa president, insisting he has merely made his mandate available.
Just days after being elected for fifth consecutive term, Blatter stepped down as the leader of the world football governing body, saying he would call a congress “for a new president [to be] elected to follow me as new president with a new election”.
However, the 79-year-old has now denied every resigning, according to Swiss publication Blick.
“I have not resigned,” he is quoted as saying at the opening ceremony of Fifa’s new museum in Zurich. “I am making my mandate available at an extraordinary congress.”
While talking about the new museum, he joked that he is “not ready for a waxwork yet”, fuelling rumours that he would still be involved in the game.
“Only those who know the past can understand the present and shape the future … For me personally, the museum is a labour of love,” he said. “But do not get me wrong: I’m not ready for the museum nor for a waxwork yet.”
Speculation of Blatter reversing his decision had arisen earlier after Zurich-based communications consultant Klaus Stöhlker, a former advisor of Blatter, was quoted as saying the president has “a fair chance of staying in power”, saying that it would difficult to find a replacement.
“It’s hard to find someone who is an equal,” he said. “Blatter has built the organisation into a global, highly successful company – and he’s a top diplomat.”