Wolfgang Niersbach says that having announced his intention to stand down, Sepp Blatter must speed up his departure.

Wolfgang Niersbach, head of the German football federation which hosts tomorrow’s Champions League Final, wants a new FIFA president in place as soon as possible.

Niersbach, one of Europe’s a newly-elected delegates to the world federation executive committee, has been a fierce critic of Sepp Blatter ever since the FIFA president broke his 2011 promise to step down at congress.

Blatter, on announcing his impending resignation on Tuesday, said that he would remain in place until an extraordinary congress had been convened “is six or nine months” to choose his success.

However Niersbach is among an increasing number of senior official who want Blatter removed from the process.

He said; “For me it’s incredible the way it happened. Blatter invites the whole world to a congress, is re-elected and then four days later resigns, for whatever reason – yet it’s not an immediate resignation.

“Everything needs to go forward much faster.”

Hush money

Niersbach was also scathing about the €5m ‘hush money’ paid by FIFA to avert the Football Association of Ireland launching a legal complaint over the notorious Thierry Henry handball incident in the 2010 World Cup qualifying competition.

Henry’s offence caught referee Martin Hansson unsighted and William Gallas scored the goal which sent France to the finals – denying the Irish, at least, the chance of a penalty shootout.

Niersbach, in his television interview with ZDF, said: [The handball] was a real injustice and I understand why the Irish were upset. But you cannot compensate for such a thing it with money and, in any case, no court would have ruled in their favour.”

** FIFA has confirmed that president Sepp Blatter will not attend International Olympic Committee meeting next week in Lausanne. The event is a briefing concerning the bids from Beijing and Almaty to host the Winter Games in 2022. It is not known whether Blatter will take part in the host city vote on July 31 in Kuala Lumpur.

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