Wilmar Valdez of Uruguay, a vice president of football’s South American governing body CONMEBOL, called Blatter departure a “shock to world football.”
Uruguay, Argentina and Chile were among the South American federations that voted against Blatter on Friday. In previous elections, South America was solid Blatter territory.
“What we were sure of is that sooner or later Blatter’s reign would end,” Valdez said. “FIFA needed change, and now we have to see how the (new) pieces fit.”
Jules Boykoff, who studies sports politics at Pacific University in Portland, Oregon, called Blatter’s resignation an “unexpected shift in the tectonic plates at FIFA.”
“This is a remarkable opportunity to move world football in a very different direction,” said Boykoff, a former professional soccer player, who is lobbying for changes in women’s soccer.
“For decades FIFA has represented a privileged sliver of the global 1 percent; a sexist bastion of power. If there’s ever been a chance to dent that reality, this is it.”
Gerald Imray in Cape Town, South Africa; Francis Kokutse in Accra, Ghana; Deborah Rey in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Steve McMorran in Wellington, New Zealand, contributed to this report.
Stephen Wade on Twitter: http://twitter.com/StephenWadeAP
RIO DE JANEIRO — Jun 4, 2015, 2:29 AM ET