ZURICH: FIFA presidential hopeful Jerome Champagne has conceded he is danger of not even being able to register a candidacy by the January 29 deadline writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Champagne, who has challenged the old orthodoxies game with his creative proposals for structural and competitive evolution, launched a challenge to incumbent Sepp Blatter – his old boss – a year ago.
But the French former displomat who served FIFA for a decade may not even be able to ‘real’ start line in the run-up to the election at FIFA Congress in Zurich on May 29 when Blatter will be seeking a fifth term.
Champagne’s prospects of obtaining the five formal nominations he needs were not helped when Prince Ali of Jordan, Asia’s FIFA vice-president, threw his own hat into the election ring earlier this month.
In an open letter to federations and their officials worldwide Champagne said:
“I am still not a candidate under the new rules until I have five letters of presentation . . . The feeling exists that the final result of the election is set and that it would be risky to sign them.
“There is also the fear of being singled out or punished. And now individuals without a program declare their interest, and golddiggers openly use FIFA for their own benefit, rather than being of service.
“I am thus compelled today to solemnly call upon you to obtain these missing letters.
“At this stage it is not about choosing who will be the next FIFA president because a nomination is not at all a statement of support or a commitment to vote. It is only about enabling a candidate, the only one so far with a detailed, realistic and implementable platform to serve your football associations and football, to be in the position to continue defending it and advocating for its content.
“You may think that as a qualified candidate I will not have trouble putting these five letters together, and that your colleague from a neighboring country or continent will be coming forward at the last minute.
“Frankly, I need you to be the one coming forward.”