Sepp Blatter, 79, is to step down as FIFA president.

The outgoing leader of world football’s governing body announced at a press conference in Zurich that he would ‘lay down his mandate’ at an extraordinary elective Congress.

Blatter was re-elected last week, despite seven top FIFA officials being arrested two days before the vote as part of an FBI investigation.

But he said: “My mandate does not appear to be supported by everybody.

“I will organise extraordinary congress for a replacement for me as president. I will not stand. I am now free from the constraints of an election. I will be in a position to focus on profound reforms. For many years we have called for reforms. But these are not sufficient.

“We need a limitation on mandates and terms of office. I have fought for these changes but my efforts have been counteracted.

“Fifa’s interest are dear to me. That’s why I have taken this decision. What counts most for me, is the institution of Fifa and football around the world.

Domenico Scala, the head of FIFA’s head of audit and compliance committee, is the person responsible for arranging the election of a new president.

“I am dedicated to putting into place the conditions for the election of a new president,” he said. “There will be reforms to how the elections are conducted. Under the rules governing FIFA, the election must be voted on by members at the FIFA congress.

“The president will ask the executive committee to form an extraordinary congress to elect a new president. While the timing will ultimately be up to the executive committee the timing of election likely to be between December and March.

“FIFA is determined to address the issues that are afflicting FIFA. We wany to fundamentally reform the way in which people see FIFA.”

Due to existing FIFA rules relating to elections, the presidental vote may not take place until at least December.

“While the timing will ultimately be up to the executive committee, the timing of election is likely to be between December and March [2016].”

Scala went on to say that FIFA will consider wide-ranging changes to the structure of the executive committee, with further measures to ensure greater transparency. These will include the publication of salaries of FIFA officials and a limit on the number of terms the president can serve.

“These steps will ensure that the organisation cannot be used by individuals seeking to enrich themselves at the expense of the game,” said Scala.