British politician leads FIFA reform campaign

British politician leads FIFA reform campaign
'We see having a new president as a complete necessity.'

Campaigners calling for a full reform of FIFA will meet in Brussels on Wednesday aiming to form a coalition for change.

The coalition is being spearheaded by British MP Damian Collins, and speakers at the summit will include former Football Association chairman Lord Triesman, who led England’s failed bid for the 2018 World Cup, plus the man who led the technical inspections of the nine bidding nations, Harold Mayne-Nicholls from Chile.

Only one of the three people who have declared they are standing against Sepp Blatter for the presidency will attend: Jerome Champagne, the French former FIFA executive. Prince Ali Bin Hussein of Jordan and former Tottenham winger David Ginola have said they are not available.

Collins is to put forward a ’charter for change’ and said the campaign will go on even if Blatter wins a fifth term in office at the election in May.

He told reporters: “We are looking to get people from the sporting and political institutions into a coalition for change, and encouraging national governments and sponsors to focus on key and immediate priorities for reform.

“If Sepp Blatter is re-elected as president we will continue – we see having a new president as a complete necessity and if there is not a new president people’s anger at FIFA will not go away.”

Collins said Ginola had “declined” to attend and said he disapproved at the former France winger being paid £250,000 by a bookmaker to stand.

“As someone who stands for election as a public figure I don’t think you should be paid to do so, but it is good that people in football do take a stand and challenge Sepp Blatter as president,” he added.

Ginola and Champagne are both struggling to get the minimum five nominations from national associations needed by January 29 in order to stand.

Ginola has announced his latest policy idea – to have the women’s World Cup and the men’s World Cup played at the same time in the same host country which he believes will give added profile to the women’s game.

Champagne has denounced Ginola as a “gold-digger”, saying: “Now individuals without a program declare their interest, and gold-diggers openly use FIFA for their own benefit, rather than being of service.”

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