Sepp Blatter has refused to resign as FIFA president after UEFA president Michel Platini called on the 79-year-old to step down for the good of the game.
The beleaguered Swiss held an emergency meeting with the heads FIFA’s’s six confederations on Thursday after world football’s governing body was subjected to yet more damaging corruption claims.
He then met Platini alone, at which point he was asked to quit.
“I told him ‘Sepp, I’d like to speak to you man to man, face to face,’ said Platini. “He said ‘It’s too late. I can’t all of a sudden leave when congress starts this afternoon.’
“I told Sepp Blatter to leave, to step down, because you are giving FIFA a terrible image. It’s not easy to tell a friend that he must leave but that is the way history is going. I’m saying this with sadness, with tears in my eyes. There have been too many scandals.”
Platini admitted that the latest crisis had left him “absolutely sickened” and said “people have had enough”.
The Frenchman also reiterated his support for Prince Ali in Friday’s election.
“Prince Ali is young, he’s ambitious and that’s why I support him,” said Platini. “He can do some good, he doesn’t need money. Things are a bit complicated in his region because he doesn’t have the support of his region but he’s a man that can do a lot of good.”
Meanwhile, the Confederation of African Football, led by staunch Blatter ally, Issa Hayatou, reiterated its support for Blatter.
So has the Asian Football Confederation, although one of its members, the Australian football federation, has announced its intention to vote for Prince Ali.
“A big, big big majority of the European associations will vote for Prince Ali,” said Platini.
“People have had enough, they don’t want this president any more.”
FIFA was plunged into crisis on Wednesday when United States authorities indicted 14 people and arrested seven senior football officials on bribery and racketeering charges.
Jeffrey Webb, president of the North, Central American and Caribbean Association, and Eugenio Figueredo, president of the South American confederation, were both absent from FIFA’s emergency meeting after being arrested on Wednesday.