Sepp Blatter adamant he won't stand for re-election

Blatter addressed the media after announcing reforms aimed at cleaning up the football body before he leaves.

FILE: Fifa president Sepp Blatter. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN/PRETORIA - Outgoing Fifa president Sepp Blatter is adamant he will not stand for re-election.

He addressed the media on Monday after announcing reforms aimed at cleaning up the football governing body before he leaves.

Blatter, elected to the top position in 1998, announced the new president will be announced on 26 February 2016.

Integrity checks for Executive Committee members, a maximum of three terms for presidents and individual disclosure of compensation.

These are just a few of the reforms a task force will be faced with as Fifa tries to move away from allegations of widespread bribery and corruption.

Blatter said he has taken it upon himself to make sure the image if Fifa is not ruined anymore.

"I had, with my conscience, to do something for Fifa, not for me. And this is my duty and mission now is to defend the institution Fifa."

Fifa's answer on Monday to the corruption scandal that has engulfed it since the arrests of senior officials in May on US fraud and money laundering charges, was to announce the creation of another "task force" made up of people from within the body.

The 79-year-old outgoing Fifa head clearly hopes they will come up with a package of reforms that will placate his critics and those of the organisation.

"My responsibility and mission is to make sure when at the end of February I come to the end of my career, I can say in Fifa we have started again the reform and have rebuilt the reputation of Fifa," Blatter told a news conference.

But even if his task force, made up of representatives of the regional confederations but with a "neutral chairman" makes progress, it is hard to see how Blatter's final months in charge will be anything other than fraught.

The US Department of Justice investigation into corruption, kickbacks and racketeering in football could lead to more charges, especially if some of those indicted agree to cooperate with authorities.

Blatter has not been charged with any wrongdoing. But former Fifa vice-president and Concacaf president Jeffrey Webb of the Cayman Islands, widely praised by Blatter and seen as his protege, pleaded not guilty in federal court in New York on Saturday to charges of racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering.

He was released on $10 million bail.

CLASS ACTION

As candidates take up the race to become the next Fifa president, lawyers in South Africa and the United States are looking for people who have been hurt by the corruption scandal that unseated the incumbent Blatter.

In addition to seeking a sense of justice for the victims, they want to move offenders out of positions where they can do additional harm.

The lawyers seeking to build a class action of Fifa corruption victims will allow and encourage them to reveal their own stories under protection of attorney-client privilege.

At no cost to the plaintiffs, highly experienced US litigators will help them legally interpret their claims.

They will advise them on the timely pursuit of all viable legal remedies, not limited to the US.

Additional information by Reuters