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Posted on Wednesday, 03 June 2015 16:54

Africa reacts to Sepp Blatter's resignation

By Janet Shoko

Photo©ReutersFIFA's long serving president Sepp Blatter finally bowed to pressure on Tuesday and resigned just days after being re-elected last week.

The 79-year old Swiss, FIFA president for the last 16 years, announced his resignation on Monday five days after he was re-elected for the fifth consecutive time.

accept it or not, he made the World Cup to be played in Africa

He has called for a general assembly meeting as soon as possible to elect his successor.

As Blatter fell, there have been cautious reactions in Zimbabwe but the soccer fraternity is keen to know the fate of its football association (ZIFA) leader Cuthbert Dube.

Dube, on May 16 was fired by Zifa councillors but bounced back days later after a shock direct FIFA intervention.

FIFA said Dube's suspension violated several clauses within the constitution.

Reacting to Blatter's resignation announcement, Zimbabwe's Information minister Jonathan Moyo, who is also a government spokesperson said the Swiss had 'shown integrity by resigning".

"Blatter's decision to leave Fifa by March 2017 is proof of his integrity and sad story on West's shock and awe tactics!

"No need to be tactical. Whatever the merits of the case turn out to be Blatter has shown integrity by resigning!" Moyo wrote on his official Twitter account.

Zimbabwean football has been dogged by iconic FIFA failures, corruption and match-fixing scandals damaging the image of the national team.

ZIFA has not issued an official reaction to Blatter's resignation.

Football Association of Zambia president and former African footballer of the year Kalusha Bwalya expressed shock at the move.

"I'm really surprised and shocked. I did not see it coming. But I could see last week in Zurich it was very tough for him," he said.

"The Western media saw to it and (UEFA president Michel) Platini was unsporting in asking him three times to step down.

"The man has done a lot for FIFA. His legacy will be all over the world, even in England and Germany where they have all benefited from the aid he has created.

"For Africa he was always there, he was always caring" he is quoted saying.

In Cameroon, FECAFOOT Normalisation Committee president, Joseph Owona felt a new era opened for CAF and FIFA with the resignation of Blatter.

"It's his right I must say, since I am African and we were at the FIFA general assembly, where the African group in its majority supported the candidacy of Mr Blatter," he is quoted saying.

" We did that for two simple reasons; first for what Blatter has done for the development of football and Asia.

"Secondly, accept it or not, he made the World Cup to be played in Africa.

"I think one of the problems may be from there. That said it is evident that there are problems of governance.

"I think FIFA would have the resources to handle these problems".

Kenya football authorities expressed shock saying they were disappointed with the decision by Blatter to step down.

"We are not happy. It is a disappointment to see that a person we had hope in, has been shoved aside by other forces outside the sport for their own selfish interest," said Nyamweya said.

"I hope we will elect a new president who will have the interest of football and Africa at heart."

In a belated expression of disappointment with the decision of African football federations to back Blatter's re-election, Botswana's President Ian Khama told the BBC that: "It was so painful and such a pity that he decided to stand as Fifa president after a period that he'd been presiding over so much corruption in that world body".



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