Sky and BBC to Stage FIFA President TV Debate

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The BBC and Sky have invited the four candidates for the Fifa presidency to take part in a live TV debate.

Current president Sepp Blatter and his three rival candidates – Fifa vice-president Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan, Dutch FA president Michael van Praag and former Portugal international Luis Figo – have all been invited to take part, with FA chairman Greg Dyke offering to host the debate at Wembley Stadium.

The vote is only open to the 209 national football associations, but the broadcasters have said that the debate will allow the candidates to “communicate directly with fans from around the world.”

The BBC and Sky have claimed there is “significant interest” from Blatter’s rival candidates, although Blatter, who is running for a sixth term as head of world football’s governing body, has so far not supported the proposals.

A Sky statement said, “Sky, in collaboration with the BBC, has invited all four candidates in the FIFA presidential election to take part in a live debate.

“We believe this will present an unprecedented opportunity for the candidates to set out their plans and communicate directly with fans from around the world. We hope for a positive response from all four candidates.”

The election will be held on 29 May 2015.

The FA have frequently fallen out with Blatter over his running of Fifa, and in July last year its chairman Greg Dyke said the running of the organisation was “like something out of North Korea.”

Dyke said of the TV debate proposals: “I would love to see a leaders’ debate. I would love to see the four candidates for this election get in a room together and be questioned. We would happily host it at Wembley.”

Fifa is expected to approve plans to move the 2022 Qatar World Cup from summer to winter, with Blatter claiming that the final would be held no later than 18 December. [Source: Radiotimes]

Karl Lusbec