FIFA's top spokesman resigned from his post Thursday after a corruption scandal that has taken out some of the soccer world's top leaders. Walter de Gregorio said in a statement he would resign his post as director of communications and public affairs for FIFA. He will continue to work for the organization on a consultancy basis through the end of the year.
De Gregorio joined FIFA in September 2011. He will be replaced by Deputy Communications Director Nicolas Maingot. “Walter has worked incredibly hard for the past four years and we are immensely grateful for all he has done. I am glad we will be able to continue to draw on his expertise until the end of the year," said FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke in a statement.
In recent weeks, FIFA has been embroiled in a corruption scandal over allegations that World Cup games were awarded based on bribes. Secretary General Valcke said Wednesday that FIFA would "postpone" the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup amid the investigation, CNN reported. The 2018 World Cup is slated to be held in Russia, while the 2022 event is scheduled for Qatar.
The U.S. government indicted 14 people, including nine top FIFA officials, on corruption charges last month.
"It is certainly a difficult moment for us," de Gregorio said after the investigation was announced. "It is a hard time for us. But this is good for FIFA. It confirms that we are on the right track. It hurts. It's not easy. But it's the right way to go.”
De Gregorio studied history and political philosophy and worked as a journalist for more than two decades, according to FIFA. He has dual Swiss-Italian nationality.