Walter de Gregorio
Fifa director of communications Walter de Gregorio attends a press conference following the arrests of several executivesGetty

Fifa's director of communications and public affairs Walter De Gregorio is to step down with immediate effect after joking about the organisation's recent arrests.

De Gregorio, who joined Fifa in 2011 haven previously worked as a journalist, will continue to work at football's world governing body until the end of the year as a consultant following his resignation.

His deputy Nicolas Maingot will resume the role until a full replacement is confirmed.

Fifa secretary general Jérôme Valcke said: "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."

Just a few days ago, De Gregorio made a joke about the Fifa corruption arrests during an interview on Swiss television.

Appearing on the Roger Schawinski show in Switzerland, he said: "Question: The Fifa president, secretary general and communications director are all travelling in a car. Who's driving?

"Answer: The police."

De Gregorio previously worked on the 2011 presidential election campaign with Sepp Blatter.

The Swiss national recently confirmed he will stand down as Fifa president after 17 years following the organisation's corruption scandal involving several executives.

Speaking after the arrests in Zurich, De Gregorio told reporters Blatter was "not involved at all" with the bribery allegations.

"Well he is not dancing in his office," he added. "He is very calm, he is fully co-operative with everything... He's not a happy man, saying 'wow wow'."

He added: "This for Fifa is good. It is not good in terms of image or reputation, but in terms of cleaning up, this is good.

"The process goes on and we are looking forward."