The race for FIFA presidency is heating up as Portuguese great Luis Figo becomes the latest shock candidate to challenge Sepp Blatter for the role of Fifa president believed to be the tightest ever, with his compatriot Jose Mourinho of Chelsea in full support for the former midfield man.
The former Sporting Lisbon, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan forward, 42, joins former Paris Saint-Germain star David Ginola in the race to replace the controversial incumbent Sepp Blatter as boss of world football’s governing body. He says he wants to clean the image of the body that has in recent times been tainted.
“Football has given me so much during my life and I want to give something back to the game. I look at the reputation of Fifa right now and I don’t like it. Football deserves better. In recent weeks, months, and even years, I have seen the image of Fifa deteriorate.” Figo told the media.
Other names in the running for football’s top management job include, Asian Football Confederation vice-president Prince Ali of Jordan, Dutchman Michael van Praag and independent candidate Jerome Champagne as would-be presidential challengers. Blatter has been Fifa boss since 1998 and intends to run for a fifth term.
According to Fifa electoral committee member Dominico Scala, all confirmed challengers must pass an anti-corruption test and all potential candidates have to register their interest in standing before Thursday’s deadline.
Figo played 127 times for Portugal on international level featuring at the World Cup in 2002 and 2006, and won the Champions League with Real Madrid in 2002. He also won the Ballon d’Or in 2000 and was Fifa World Player of the Year in 2001 well as playing in three European Championships.