David Ginola has launched a shock bid to replace Sepp Blatter as the president of FIFA – claiming that football needs to be “refreshed.”
The Frenchman's campaign began in earnest on Friday with a press conference backed by Paddy Power, which understandably led to suggestions that it is something of a PR stunt.
But the bookmaker have claimed that they are serious about ousting Blatter and 'refreshing football', and the former Tottenham player and his team will do all they can to ensure he is, at least, able to run for the presidency.
"It is time that football was refreshed," Ginola told The Sun. "We have to be brave and deal with what is going on in this game we love."
He added: "I know it will not be easy for me to be elected but I have to try. I always did my best on the pitch and I will do the same now."
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However, it is yet to be confirmed whether or not he will be eligible to stand for the position, as he needs to have played an active role in football administration for at least two of the last five years.
And he also needs to be publicly nominated by five national associations by January 29 – and that could be very difficult to achieve without much experience in similar roles.
On his eligibility FIFA’s rules state: “The candidate shall have played an active role in association football as a board member, committee member, referee and assistant referee, coach, trainer and any other person responsible for technical, medical or administrative matters in FIFA, a Confederation, Association, League or club or as a player) for two of the last five years before being proposed as a candidate.”
Ginola helped campaign for England’s unsuccessful bid to host the 2018 World Cup in 2010.
Blatter, despite announcing to the contrary several years ago, is hoping to win a fifth term as president and looks to have more opposition as ever with vice-president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan also running – but many similar candidates have withdrawn their bids in recent years.
French former FIFA executive Jerome Champagne is also declared for the election but has already announced that he expects to find it hard to achieve five nominations.
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