Figo to run for Fifa presidency

Published January 28th, 2015 - 02:01 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

Portugal legend Luis Figo has announced his decision to run for Fifa president at this year's election as he aims to dethrone the organisation's current leader Sepp Blatter.

The deadline for candidates to declare their bid is Thursday, with Figo securing the required backing of five Fifa member associations.

"I care about football, so what I'm seeing regarding the image of Fifa, not only now but in the past years, I don't like it," Figo told CNN.

"If you search Fifa on the internet you see the first word that comes out: scandal, not positive words. That's what we have to change first and try to improve the image of Fifa. Football deserves much better than this. 

"I've been talking with so many important people in football, players, managers, president of federations, and they all think that something has to be done. 

"Last year was the World Cup, I was in Brazil and I saw the reaction of all the fans regarding the image of FIFA and I think something has to be changed. 

"Change in leadership, governance, transparency and solidarity, so I think it's the moment for that."

The ex-Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter attacker then went on to explain that Fifa's decision not to make Michael Garcia's infamous report on the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups public prompted him to take action.

"After that report was not published I think that was the moment of change and the moment I thought that something had to be done.

"If you are transparent and if you ask for an investigation, a report, which you have nothing to hide, why don't you make public that report? If you have nothing to hide about that, you have to do it. 

"[Publishing the report] is the easy thing to do if all the people is doubting what happened. If it came from Fifa to order that report and after that you don't publish, it is not a good decision."

Jerome Champagne, Prince Ali Bin Hussein, David Ginola and Michael van Praag had previously already announced their decision to challenge Blatter, with Mino Raiola pulling out of the race on Tuesday.

In order to be eligible, a candidate has to have played an active role in association football for two of the five years preceding his proposed candidature and present declarations of support from at least five member associations.

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