Japan’s FIFA Executive Committee member Kohzo Tashima has questioned why Sepp Blatter had a sudden change of heart and resigned just days after being re-elected by the FIFA Congress.
Tashima, Vice President of the Japan Football Association, was one of three new FIFA ExCo members from Asia officially inaugurated at the FIFA Congress, along with Prince Abdullah of Malaysia and Sheikh Ahmad of Kuwait.
“At the ExCo meeting (on Saturday), he spoke glowingly about how he had been given a new mandate and at the time, he looked like he was raring to go again,” Tashima told Japan’s Kyodo News.
“But I’m shocked to see him change the way he has in the two days since, and I can’t stop myself from asking what has happened.
“There were no charges against Mr. Blatter himself, only rumours. But if there is something that’s forced him to resign, he has an obligation to explain himself. He cannot be allowed to leave things as fuzzy as they are, and it’s a kind of a farce now for him to stay in office for the next six months or however long it takes to decide the new president.
“There’s no reason for him to resign if there’s nothing on him,” he continued. “But if there is something on him then you could make the argument that he shouldn’t be allowed to stay on a moment longer.
“He said he’s standing down because he didn’t have enough support within football, but he knew that before the voting took place and the situation certainly didn’t change in the following day or two. So I need to know what went on.
“I think there will be huge repercussions. The top man of a massive organisation like FIFA has quit in this fashion and two vice presidents are under investigation.
“It remains to be seen how things will unfold but one thing is clear: that we are starting to see factual evidence of corruption in the organisation.”
Tashima, 57, also called on FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke to provide a full explanation to the revelations that he was party to a $10m bribe paid to Jack Warner.
“Common sense dictates that it’s just not normal for $10 million to be switching hands the way it supposedly did,” he said.
“If it is a fact that Mr. Valcke did transfer $10 million, then he needs to offer a thorough explanation.
The Asian Football Confederation, which staunchly backed Blatter’s re-election, has so far only released a short statement saying they are, “closely monitoring the situation, and will discuss with its Member Associations and sister confederations in order to find the best way forward for both FIFA and world football.”