Former Fifa official Jerome Champagne today launched his bid to stand for the presidency of world football’s governing body in 2015, but immediately cast uncertainty over his prospects for victory by admitting that he would be unlikely to defeat a fresh stand by incumbent Sepp Blatter.
The Frenchman had served as one of Blatter’s key advisers until he left his post as director of international relations in 2010, working for Fifa in an 11-year spell that included time as deputy secretary general.
Before joining Fifa he served as a French diplomat from 1983 to 1998, while his career post-Fifa has taken in international football consultancy in troubled regions such as Kosovo, Palestine and Israel and Cyprus.
However, when asked if he believed he could defeat Blatter in an election, Champagne told reporters: “No I don’t think so as he’s someone of relevance. I don’t know whether Mr Blatter will run or not. Of course as a matter of politeness I informed him what I was planning to do.” Blatter has been president of Fifa since 1998 and has repeatedly hinted that he will stand for a fifth term in office in 18 months’ time, despite initially promising that his current term would be his last.
Blatter has said he will make a decision before this year’s Fifa Congress, which will be held in June ahead of Brazil’s staging of the World Cup, while Uefa president Michel Platini has also been linked with running for the Fifa presidency.
Champagne outlined that his bid will revolve around a platform of reform based on his far-reaching 20,000-word document ‘What FIFA for the 21st century?’ which was published in January 2012. In an interview with the Reuters news agency, the 55-year-old cited four key changes that he would make to Fifa governance including an overhaul of the voting procedure – granting more power to the president – and affording national associations the majority of seats on Fifa’s Executive Committee.
He has also called for better representation for African (CAF), Asian (AFC) and North American and Caribbean (CONCACAF) associations in the World Cup, along with greater involvement in Fifa decision making for players, leagues and clubs.
He said: “It (Fifa) needs to be more transparent and more in tune with the modern world. We need to redress the imbalances in the world game, we need to make Fifa’s executive committee more democratic and transparent, we need to introduce technology to assist the referee and his assistants and we need to better handle the globalisation of the sport.At the very least I want to open up the debate so these issues are examined properly.”
Concerning questions over his eligibility for the presidency, Champagne added: “I have been working as an advisor to some football associations like Palestine, Kosovo, the Turkish Cypriot FA, advising in Benin, some clubs. You need the support of at least five FAs around the world and to have been active in football for at least two years in the previous five years and I meet those requirements.” [Source: Sport Business]
So, Champagne at FIFA in 2015? Will Grant Whal run again? When asked about Jerome Champagne chances, this is what he said: