Fifa president Sepp Blatter has issued his first public statement since announcing his resignation on Tuesday as unsealed court documents showed that US prosecutors have detailed evidence of corruption at the highest levels of the body, tainting the award of hosting rights to the 1998 and 2010 World Cups. Blatter said he was already started the process of reforming soccer’s governing body, meeting with audit and compliance chairman Domenico Scala on Thursday to “instigate meaningful reform of the administration and structure of Fifa”. “I had a good, constructive meeting with Mr Scala to establish a framework for action and a timetable. I am pleased to take advice and guidance from Mr Scala,” Blatter said. “I want a comprehensive programme of reform and I am very aware that only the Fifa congress can pass these reforms. Furthermore, the executive committee has a particular duty to share the responsibility of driving this process.” Among other things, I agreed with other persons in or around 1992 to facilitate the acceptance of a bribe in conjunction with the selection of the host nation for the 1998 World Cup Chuck Blazer Fifa staff in Zurich gave Sepp Blatter a standing ovation after his resignation, but in New York the news was all bad for world football’s governing body. Meanwhile in South Africa, where authorities are opening an investigation into bribery allegations surrounding the 2010 World Cup bid, an opposition lawmaker said he received information claiming a previous probe into payments around the bid was stopped by “high-level interference.” Testimony from disgraced former North American football supremo Chuck Blazer revealed that Fifa executives conspired to accept bribes during the campaigns to host the 1998 and 2010 cups, won by France and South Africa. Blazer’s testimony is a key plank in the US investigation against Fifa, which federal prosecutors are pursuing as a “racketeering influenced corrupt organisation”. The 70-year-old – who is presently out on bail and being treated for rectal cancer – has admitted to a raft of charges related to his leadership of the North and Central American soccer body Concacaf and membership of Fifa’s executive committee. However, in order to get a lighter punishment, he agreed to wear a microphone and record conversations with fellow Fifa executives. In the papers released, the other Fifa members identified as co-conspirators are not named. “Among other things, I agreed with other persons in or around 1992 to facilitate the acceptance of a bribe in conjunction with the selection of the host nation for the 1998 World Cup,” Blazer said in his plea. The 1998 World Cup was eventually awarded to France, ahead of a bid by Morocco. Another court document, detailing the charges, says that Blazer was present when a co-conspirator accepted a bribe in Morocco. In South Africa on Thursday, Anton Alberts of the Freedom Front Plus opposition party, said: "[The information] does tell us of an event that took place and an investigation that was stunted from a political level.” South Africa's successful World Cup bid for the 2010 tournament is now tainted with Blazer going on to admit that he and “others on the Fifa executive committee” agreed to accept bribes in conjunction with the selection of South Africa to host the World Cup in 2010. South African officials have strongly denied allegations by US investigators that they paid US$10 million in bribes to secure the rights to host the competition. I want a comprehensive programme of reform and I am very aware that only the Fifa congress can pass these reforms Sepp Blatter Central to the claims about South Africa is former Fifa vice-president and former head of Concacaf Jack Warner, who was placed on Interpol’s most wanted list on Wednesday. The US$10 million transfer went from the South African authorities to Warner, and was made through Fifa, although they say they were just the intermediary in the transaction. Reports say US investigators believe Fifa’s combative secretary-general Jerome Valcke authorised the transfer and the money was intended as a bribe. However, he insists that he had nothing to do with it. “I have nothing to blame myself for and I certainly do not feel guilty so I do not even have to justify my innocence,” Valcke told France Info radio station. “I don’t have the power to authorise a payment, especially one of US$10 million, and above all one that comes from another account separate from Fifa,” added the 54-year-old. Despite their denials, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into Blatter’s role in tens of millions of dollars of bribes given to football officials. Blatter’s decision to stand down sparked a race to take over as head of the world’s richest and most powerful sporting federation, with the vote not expected until December. South Korean tycoon Chung Mong-joon, Prince Ali bin al Hussein of Jordan, who was beaten by Blatter in a vote last Friday, and Brazilian football legend Zico all said they could take part. Most eyes remain on Michel Platini, the Uefa president who failed in his bid to play kingmaker for Prince Ali last week. Blatter, who has run Fifa for 17 years, won a fifth term in an election on Friday but renewed criticism and new corruption revelations forced him into a corner. “While I have a mandate from the membership of Fifa, I do not feel that I have a mandate from the entire world of football – the fans, the players, the clubs, the people who live, breathe and love football,” he said. US authorities have charged 14 football officials and sports company executives over more than US$150 million in bribes. As well as Warner the global police agency Interpol put former Fifa executive member Nicolas Leoz on its most wanted list and issued an international alert. Four heads of sports marketing companies have also been put on the list. Leoz is in poor health and under house arrest in his native Paraguay. In parallel to the US inquiry, Swiss prosecutors are looking into the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments to Russia and Qatar. Qatar said Blatter’s resignation would have “no impact” on its World Cup preparations. The Kremlin also said Russia was “surprised” by the resignation but it was also going ahead with plans. And the Uruguayan Football Association denied that US$3.5 million it had received for taking part in the 2015 Copa America was in any way suspect.