PORT OF SPAIN: David Nakhid, the former Trinidad and Tobago midfielder, is the latest self-promoted contender to become president of FIFA when Sepp Blatter steps down next February 26.
The 51-year-old is based in Lebanon where he runs a football academy and has returned to the Caribbean in order to gain support from local officials.
He told Rogers Radio Caribbean: “We are looking at the Caribbean and we’re seeing a certain vacuum in leadership, especially with the turmoil that is taking place within FIFA, within CONCAF (central and north American confederation) and, by extension CFU (Caribbean Football Union).
“We’ve been looking at that over the last few months and we feel now is the time for someone to step up from this part of the world, in a positive light, very much different to what it has been before, and take us forward.”
Candidates must register an intention with support from at least five national associations, by October 26. Nakhid said he has been travelling the Caribbean, holding discussions with a number of footballing administrators, and is confident of securing the required support.
He said: “We have to try to change that mentality that has prevailed, whereby we cede to somebody from outside. When you look at the candidates mentioned, for a global position, there is no one mentioned from the Caribbean region because we don’t see ourselves in that light.”
This may owe much to the fact that one of the most controversial figures in the FIFA scandals of the last decade has been Trinidadian politician Jack Warner.
Nakhid said: “We thought that we sat at the table, with the past leadership, and then realised we never sat at the table. Someone sat at the table and pursued his own agenda, not the agenda of the Caribbean as a whole.
“We need to shift the paradigm in a positive direction and let people know that the Caribbean is here and (we) can take things forward. We have to shift FIFA from that Euro-centric look.”
Nakhid told the Reuters news agency he had met CFU president Gordon Derrick in Antigua and had been invited to speak to the CFU’s executive committee on Saturday.
Derrick confirmed that Nakhid would be granted an audience. The CFU has 25 of CONCACAF’s 35 votes.
UEFA president Michel Platini last month confirmed his intention to stand for the presidency top job while South Korean Chung Mong-joon is expected to declare his candidacy on Monday in Paris.
Brazil’s Zico and Liberian Football Association president, Musa Bility, have also announced plans to run.
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