By Stephen Barry
CEO of the FAI John Delaney has called for Sepp Blatter to step down and insists Ireland won’t vote for Fifa President in Friday’s election.
Delaney contrasted the positive image that Uefa has with Fifa’s “incredibly bad brand image” and “permanent controversy” in an interview with the BBC.
Ireland will back Blatter’s only remaining opponent in the election, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, after the withdrawals of Luis Figo and Michael van Praag, who wished to unite his votes with Prince Ali against Blatter.
Delaney said that Blatter should leave for "the good of the game," adding that a fresh face was needed for brand Fifa:
"If he was doing the right thing by football, which he says he cares and loves, then he should step aside and let somebody else come forward and improve the image of the world game."
Blatter remains the favourite to continue in the presidency, with his main opposition coming from within Europe.
Read my letter sent to the members of FIFA today.http://t.co/3ODpYLiY0T— Joseph S Blatter (@SeppBlatter) May 15, 2015
Delaney cited Uefa’s Michel Platini, who said that football would suffer with Blatter’s re-election, as a positive influence on the game.
"Uefa's image is very good, which is run by a good friend of mine Michel Platini.
"I can go to Uefa and ask 'can we increase the Euros from 16 teams to 24' which I did, they get that.
"You can talk to Uefa about 13 countries hosting the tournament 2020. It gets discussed and it gets done. But at Fifa you can't."
Blatter has been president of the world football governing body since 1998, with allegations of abuses of power dogging his term.
"Blatter has had a hell of a run at it,” concluded Delaney. “But surely he knows, in his private moments, he must know, that outside of the voting chambers, that the world, the football public, the players and supporters, want change."
"I have no problems telling anybody, telling the world now, that we will not be voting for Sepp Blatter."