Frenchman, Jerome Champagne, a former senior FIFA official, has joined the race to replace the beleaguered Sepp Blatter as the president of world’s football governing body, FIFA.
The Frenchman who applied for the position in the May elections, but failed to get the minimum five nominations said the events of recent months motivated him into putting himself back into the race.
In an open letter to FIFA’s 209 member association, Champagne who worked as FIFA’s general secretary until he was forced out in 2010 said:” With determination and respect, I come before you again as candidate for the presidency of FIFA for the elections on 26 February 2016.
“The events of the past few months have renewed my determination to be a candidate.
“My career at FIFA was cut short in January of 2010. I lost my job as a result of pressures coming both from within the organisation and externally. There is no need to delve into the reasons or the personsbehind my ouster, as they are known by all.
“As such I have no connection with the issues surrounding the December 2010 vote, nor the special interest groups trying again to take control of FIFA.
“We need to save FIFA and its role of governance and redistribution, which is in danger at a time when they are needed the most. We must also restore FIFA’s credibility, and prepare it for the challenges of an ever evolving world.
“At a time when FIFA, our FIFA, needs more than ever an open debate about its future, its reform and the reform of football, we are witnessing the first months of the electoral campaign being dominated by controversy and deals made behind closed doors.”
His announcement comes ahead of Monday’s deadline for the 26 February vote and he joins Trinidad & Tobago’s Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, the Asian Football Confederation president, Sheikh Salman al-Khalifa, and maybe Michel Platini (subject to his suspension being lifted in time) in the race.