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FIFA boss Sepp Blatter abruptly resigns amid corruption scandal

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So much for that fifth term

Alessandro Della Bella/Getty Images

As FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, faces sweeping corruption charges, its controversial and oft-criticized president has made the abrupt decision to resign. Moments ago at a hastily-assembled FIFA press conference, Sepp Blatter announced he is vacating his post. "FIFA's interests are dear to me. That’s why I have taken this decision," Blatter said. His resignation comes just four days after Blatter was re-elected to a fifth term as FIFA's top official and ends a tumultuous 17 years atop the organization. "That election is over but FIFA’s challenges are not. FIFA needs a profound overhaul," he said.

Blatter repeatedly acknowledged that FIFA is in need of serious change as the US Justice Department pursues racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering, and other charges against some of his underlings. US investigators are also examining the bidding process for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which are scheduled to take place in Qatar and Russia.

Last year, Last Week Tonight's John Oliver assailed FIFA's murky business practices in a lengthy and pointed criticism of the organization that quickly went viral. Reacting to the recent arrests on Sunday's episode, Oliver said, "I don't know what I'm more surprised by — that FIFA officials were actually arrested, or that America was behind it. It took the country that cares the least about football to bring down the people who have been ruining it." Like many others, Oliver was dismayed that the United States isn't yet going after FIFA's top boss. "To truly kill a snake, you must cut off its head — or, in this case, its asshole," he said Sunday. But the early charges may just be the beginning; Blatter's sudden exit hints that he may see the writing on the wall as authorities work to uncover the full scale of FIFA's wrongdoing.