ZURICH: An letter open from FIFA presidency candidate Jerome Champagne to FIFA member associations, Officers and Officials of associations, confederations, leagues, clubs and players’ associations and all Friends of football:

On 12 November, the FIFA Ad-hoc Electoral Committee published the list of candidates eligible to stand for election to the office of FIFA President. The election will take place on 26 February 2016.

The electoral campaign is finally open.

First of all I would like to express my strong conviction that the horrible events of the past few days and weeks must make us love football even more, and to continue to transmit its fundamental values.

Faced with the barbarities in Ndjamena, in Nigeria, in Mogadishu and Beirut, in Tunisia and Iraq, in a Russian civilian airplane above the Sinai and again in Paris, and those that have plagued the Middle East for such a long time, we must stand united and show that football will not be intimidated by fear or threats.

We must of course take the appropriate security precautions, but we must play our competitions.

In this troubled and divided world, football has the strength to unite us no matter where we come from, no matter the color of our skin, our ethnicity, our religious belief, or our personal life choices.

Football is about tolerance and equal chances around only one measure: ball management. It is what makes this sport, the least costly of them all, the most accessible sport to everyone and the  crucible of so much passion.

The FIFA World Cup is that moment of planetary communion that enables us to celebrate our colours and proximity while engaged in a healthy and friendly rivalry.

The transformative powers of football must contribute to the emergence of a more just and secure world where everyone can find his or her own place. One of the roles of the president of FIFA is to promote the values of our sport, to reinforce the dialog among ourselves and to resist anything that could divide us.

That is part and parcel of this campaign about the future of FIFA and football. I will make sure of it!

During this campaign I will stay the course on the exchange of ideas and visions about the future of football and FIFA. I will toe the line on discussing programs and agendas rather than slogans or personality issues, with their inherent baggage of innuendos, underhanded tactics or double-entendre phrases.

I hereby reiterate my proposal to organize televised public debates with all the candidates.

We have to start rebuilding the stronger and more transparent relationship that must exist between FIFA and the world football community.

I have given my tentative agreement to major media outlets, such as BBC, CNN and ESPN, and I would welcome a larger number of channels that could rebroadcast the events around the globe.

You are aware of my agenda, with its eight commitments and 50 measures. It has been developed and refined since 2012. It is fully detailed, realistic, achievable and financially feasible.

I have a clear purpose: my objective is to continue and expand what has been done well in the past years, and to reform, improve and modernize what needs change.

The opening of this campaign finally gives me the opportunity to present an initial roster of supporters who join Pelé who has supported me since 2014.

It is a great honour, coupled with a responsibility at the level of what Pelé represents to all of the lovers of football on the planet.

Here they are listed in the alphabetical order of their last names, and joined here to you will find their individual support messages:

Jimmy Adjovi-Boco

ASEC Mimosas

Vikash Dhorasoo

Robbie Keane

Kenyan Premier League

Bernard Lama

PatricK Mboma

Rachid Mekhloufi

Palestinian Football Association

Mordechai Spiegler


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