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Blatter May Go, But Don't Count on His Replacement Being Better

03/06/2015 15:59 BST | Updated 02/06/2016 10:59 BST

It was a real "Where were you when you heard..." moment. For any football lover, it was the equivalent of the Watergate Scandal and its fallout. Perhaps even of 9/11. Is that too much? Probably too much.

Yet the resignation of Sepp Blatter was a story where no matter how many reputable news stories covered it, or what month it occurred in, you simply assumed it was an April Fool's Joke.

So the septuagenarian Swiss is to leave office, most likely at the beginning of 2016. While not being personally indicted under the recent scandals that have gripped Fifa, it is undeniable that his premiership has seen football's global stock fall to an all time low in terms of reputation in wider society, and he is at worst a crook, at best utterly oblivious to widespread corruption in an organisation he has ruled through thick and more thick for 17 years. Time to go.

So what next? The immediate reaction from the media, after the palpable shock, was undeniably celebratory, as if we were all Munchkins, freed from the yolk of the Wicked Witch of the West, who had finally done the right thing and dropped a house on her own head.

Things, however, are never, ever that simple. For the more things change, the more they stay the same. Blatter may be on his way, but I highly doubt Fifa will be cleansed in 2016. History tells us very different.

Ol' Sepp, when elected in 1998, was regarded as a new broom, after the tempestuous reign of Brazilian Joao Havelange, whose years in charge of Fifa were just as full of scandal and intrigue as Blatter's, perhaps even more so.

In 24 years at the helm - seven years longer than Blatter's seemingly infinite spell - Havelange oversaw the collapse of the marketing company that marketed the rights for World Cups, was accused of receiving over $50milion in bribes (he avoided punishment by paying back $500,000, and by the fact he is now 99 years old), and was stripped of his honorary Fifa presidency by Blatter.

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Whoever will take over seems destined to take over a poisoned chalice, one that poisons the mind and reasonable senses of those who take it on. I am pessimistic about the idea that Blatter's successor will put things completely right. Also because I've seen who is in line to take over, and they do not fill me with confidence.

The front runner is Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein. While enlightened - he campaigned for the lifting of Fifa's ban on hijabs, allowing more Muslim women to play the beautiful game - he remains a somewhat obscure choice of figurehead. I can't feel comfortable with an unelected state representative holding the power. I doubt we'd be too excited if Prince Charles took over. Or even Prince William, and he knows something about football, apparently.

Ali is also very young, at 39, and Jordan can't claim to be at the centre of the world game, so I worry about the sharp focus that will fall on Ali, and how he will cope with it should he assume the role. Perhaps we should give it to an experienced, working class football man who hails from a long established football nation. Like, say, Switzerland. You know who I mean, and what I mean.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.