Jerome Champagne is set to make an audacious challenge to Sepp Blatter for the position of FIFA President, but has already conceded that he is unlikely to win should the long-running Swiss stand for re-election.
However, such a reality-check has not stopped the gloriously-named Champagne from broadcasting some of his more controversial ideas should he complete the unexpected and land the very top job in the world of football politics.
Among the potential policies would be a system of ‘orange cards’ that would herald in a rugby-like ‘sin bin’ where players only leave the field for a set amount of time depending on their offence.
Champagne would struggle to enforce such a monumental change as he would no doubt meet serious opposition from domestic football associations around the world, but the Frenchman also suggests the more popular notion among supporters of new technology.
Under Champange’s regime, only team captains would be able to speak to the referee, while quotas (such as the ones long-suggested in England to aid national development) would limit the number of overseas players in any given side.
A brief glance over Champagne’s past shows a history of power struggles and in-fighting at FIFA, in most of which he has seemingly been the victim. Unsurprisingly, he has called for a “more democratic, more respected” governing body, a message that will strike a chord after numerous rumours of corruption, the frantic race to get an under-prepared Brazil ready for the World Cup this summer, and of course, the debacle over the gifting of the same tournament in 2022 to Qatar, a move that will undoubtedly have huge ramifications for the timing of the football season in Europe.
Despite the clumsy tagline of “Rebalance the Game in a Globalised 21st century”, Champagne is certainly a man with a plan, even though he is unsure whether he will even stand if 77-year-old Blatter decides to continue his interminable reign. UEFA’s Michel Platini is another name consistently linked with Blatter’s post, but he is yet to confirm any interest in running for election.
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