Max Mosley has been called on to step
down immediately [GALLO/GETTY] 
Major automobile clubs from around the world have demanded the resignation of FIA president Max Mosley ahead of next week's vote on his future following a sex scandal.

In the letter sent to Mosley on Wednesday, the 24 clubs, which represent 100 million motorists and 86 percent of the total FIA membership, rejected Mosley's arguments for staying on as head of Formula One's governing body.

"We strongly believe that the only respectable way forward for the FIA, and for yourself, is to have an orderly transition, with an immediate agreement and your commitment to step down,'' the letter said.

The FIA said it would make a statement on the letter later Thursday.

The automobile clubs include members from the United States, France, Spain, India and Australia.

Selfish actions

The letter said they considered the 68-year-old Englishman to be putting "personal considerations before the interests of the FIA and its member clubs'' after his refusal to accept an offer to step down by the time of the FIA's next general assembly in November.

A secret vote by the 200-strong member federations, representing 130 countries from around the world, will determine Mosley's fate at the special assembly to be held in Paris next Tuesday.

"The FIA is in a critical situation,'' the letter said.

"Its image, reputation and credibility are being severely eroded. Every additional day that this situation persists, the damage increases. There is no way back.''

Mosley has been under fire since he was exposed in a British tabloid for taking part in a sex session with five prostitutes in London, allegedly involving Nazi role-playing.

Mosley, who is suing The News of the World in British and French courts, admits hiring the prostitutes but denies the Nazi theme.

The 25-member World Council for Automobile Mobility and Tourism, a key arm of the FIA, wrote to Mosley on May 15 asking for his resignation.

An appearance at Monaco has done little
to reduce the pressure [GALLO/GETTY]
 
Compromise rejected

It put forward the compromise deal that would have allowed Mosley to step down in November.

"We deeply regret your refusal to accept the proposal by the members of WCAMT to reach an agreement,'' the letter from the automobile clubs said.

"This is a constructive effort to facilitate an orderly transition within the FIA and to find a solution to the present crisis.''

Mosley's current mandate ends in October 2009. He has indicated he would not run for a fifth term.

Mosley's plea

Mosley wrote to the member federations 10 days ago warning that Bernie Ecclestone would take full control of F1 if he is forced to resign.

Ecclestone denies that his rights-holding company, Formula One Management, wants to play a regulating role. The 24 clubs made clear in the letter that they accept Ecclestone's explanations.

"We take note of (Ecclestone's) point on the importance that the FIA be led by a credible and respected president,'' the letter said.

"We believe that his explanations put in due perspective the state of the relationship between the FIA and the Formula One world, taking away relevance to many of the arguments you make in your letter to justify your continuity.''