KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Harold Mayne-Nicholls, former president of the Chilean football federation, will not be rushed over a decision on whether to contest the FIFA presidency next year.

He said: “A decision is not necessary before January 28 next year. The elections is on May 29 so we have all of October, November, December and January. That means four months to check everything so that the people who have contacted me – and whom I have contacted – can assess the best way forward.”

Asked about his ability to attract the full support of CONMEBOL, the South American confederation, he said: “Once you decide to be a candidate you have to convince 105 of 209 countries who are members of FIFA, because that is what is needed to win.

“We would have to develop a strategy in which, obviously, CONMEBOL is very important but from which we can also seek votes in the other confederations because [South American support] is not enough to win.”

Mayne-Nicholls has a detailed knowledge of the 2018-2022 bidding process which prompted the controversy which has hung over FIFA for the last four years.

He said: “I wrote a column a few months ago for El Pais in Spain in which I point out the need for fresh air. What has happened lately has not served the image of FIFA or, indirectly, football.

“There is a complete disconnect between what the fans think is needed and the administration of the game.

“That leads me to believe that you can both accomplish change while maintaining what works well. I do not think it is wise, in the long term, to maintain both the same individuals and structures.”

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