Figo optimistic ahead of Fifa elections

Figo optimistic ahead of Fifa elections
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Published April 23rd, 2015 - 13:45 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Luis Figo
Luis Figo

Luis Figo said he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of “surprises” in his Fifa presidential bid.

The 42-year-old Portuguese former Barcelona and Real Madrid winger is in Dubai this week for the inaugural Icons Cup, a two-day all-star charity golf tournament between Team USA and the Rest of the World at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, starting on Thursday.

The Ryder Cup-style tournament provides some downtime to the former World Player of the Year, who is looking to depose incumbent Fifa president Sepp Blatter, and outdo fellow candidates Prince Ali Bin Al Hussain of Jordan and Dutch FA president Michael van Pragg ahead of the May 29 election.

“I’m confident, but realistic,” Figo said of his election campaign. “In this process, there has been some positive surprises, some negative ones too. I think life is like that.

“I’ve been travelling around. Next week I’ll be in Bahrain at the AFC [Asian Football Confederation] Congress and at the end of May we have the decision — let’s see. I’m optimistic every day, but at the same time realistic of the situation.”

Blatter, 79, has held his position for 17 years with three re-elections to date and is considered the favourite again for his strong support outside of Europe. Figo, on the other hand, is considered an outsider for his lack of contacts among all 209 voting members.

The Portuguese will be representing the Rest of the World on the golf course, captained by European 2016 Ryder Cup captain and 2011 Open Championship winner Darren Clarke in the Icons Cup. Also on his team are fellow former footballers Robbie Fowler, Kenny Dalglish, Andriy Shevchenko and Dwight Yorke; cricketers Shane Warne, Kapil Dev and Brian Lara and rugby’s George Gregan, Brian O’Driscoll and Mike Tindall.

Team USA, is captained by 1992 Masters champion Fred Couples, and consists of baseball’s Tom Glavine, Ken Griffey Junior, Russ Ortiz and Greg Maddux; American football’s; Marcus Allen and Eric Dickerson; ice hockey’s Mike Modano and Brett Hull; basketball’s Ray Allen and boxing’s Oscar De La Hoya.

“It’s what we have done for a living for a long time,” said Clarke of himself and opposing captain Couples. “But to have legendary sportstars — as we do on both teams — and see them compete at what we do, is going to make for a very interesting few days.

“Doing what we do we all want to win, sportsmen want to win, and I’m sure it will be no different over the next couple of days,” he added.

Play gets underway with the foursomes on Thursday morning from 7.30am, followed by afternoon singles matches from 1pm. Twelve singles matches will then be played on Friday afternoon from 12.40pm. Entry is free to the event but registration is required online via www.iconscup.com.

Organisers hope the Icons Cup will become an annual event, switching to the US next year before returning to Dubai in 2017.

© Al Nisr Publishing LLC 2015. All rights reserved.

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