ZURICH Sepp Blatter resigned as FIFA president on Tuesday in the face of a U.S.-led corruption investigation that has plunged world soccer's governing body into the worst crisis in its history.

Blatter, 79, announced the decision at a news conference in Zurich, six days after the FBI raided a hotel in Zurich and arrested several FIFA officials and just four days after he was re-elected to a fifth term as president.

Blatter said an election to choose a new FIFA president would be held as soon as possible.

"FIFA needs profound restructuring," he said.

FIFA, ruled over by Blatter since 1998, was rocked this week by the announcement of a U.S. investigation into alleged widespread financial wrongdoing stretching back for years. Swiss authorities mounted their own criminal probe into the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively.