Sepp Blatter, whose 18-year term as the head of football’s world body was set to end, must leave his FIFA apartment or start paying rent, sources close to FIFA told AFP Friday.

FIFA member associations were electing his replacement at a congress in Zurich, with world football aiming to turn the page on the Blatter-era that ended in unprecedented scandal.

“From the election of his successor, Sepp Blatter’s contract is terminated,” said a FIFA source who requested anonymity. 

“This means that he has to leave his official apartment or pay rent,” the source added. 

Blatter spokesman Klaus Stoelker told AFP in an email that he was unavailable to comment on Blatter’s plans or living arrangements. 

Blatter was suspended by FIFA in October, after Swiss prosecutors announced he was the target of an investigation into criminal mismanagement and misuse of funds. 

While suspended, Blatter, a 79-year-old Swiss national, lost access to his office phone and work emails. 

But according to Swiss law, a suspension from work does not prevent an employee from being paid or from living in an apartment paid by an employer. 

The FIFA presidential residence is located in a Zurich house divided into several units. 

Blatter’s compensation as president was not disclosed, but has been estimated between 5 million Swiss francs (5 million, 4.5 million euros) and 10 million Swiss francs. 

Following reforms adopted at FIFA’s landmark congress on Friday — where the new president will also be chosen — compensation for top executives will be publicly disclosed. 

Blatter began working at FIFA in 1975 as its development director, ultimately rising to the presidency in 1998. 

He was re-elected to a fifth term days after seven football executives were arrested in Zurich on May 27 by Swiss police acting on US warrants. 

Blatter then announced his plans to resign on June 2, as the unprecedented crisis engulfing world football rapidly widened. 

In December, he was banned from football for eight years over a now infamous 2 million Swiss franc payment he authorised to his one-time heir apparent, Michel Platini, the fallen head of European football. 

That sentenced was reduced to six years by a FIFA appeals committee on Wednesday. – Agence France-Presse

- Advertisement -