Champagne to take on Blatter

Jerome Champagne insists he will stand for the FIFA presidency next year, despite Sepp Blatter indicating his intention to be re-elected.

Last Updated: 16/06/14 at 17:11 Post Comment

Jerome Champagne: Intends to take on Sepp Blatter next year in election for FIFA

Jerome Champagne: Intends to take on Sepp Blatter next year in election for FIFA

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Champagne, FIFA president Blatter's one-time close advisor, is currently the only person to formally declare his intention to contest next year’s FIFA elections.  

And the 56-year-old Frenchman, who held senior positions at FIFA for 11 years before he was ousted in 2010, is looking to put his stamp on football's governing body - and reconcile its differences with the Football Association - if his campaign proves successful.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, he said: "There are two main issues which will need to be tackled. 

"The first is the growing inequalities in the game which are jeopardising the uncertainty of the sport and the second thing is to help FIFA enter the 21st Century, including revamping its image.

"I think we need to reconcile FIFA with the public opinion of football and this is also why I have decided to stand."

Champagne's call for transparency comes against a backdrop of corruption allegations relating to the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which were awarded to Russia and Qatar, respectively, in 2010.

Last week, Blatter came in for arguably his most damning indictment yet with UEFA president Michel Platini, who himself has not ruled out standing for the FIFA presidency, saying he will no longer support him.

Dutch FA president Michael van Praag also told Blatter he should step down next year while FA chairman Greg Dyke said his claim that 'racism was behind World Cup corruption allegations in the British media' was offensive and totally unacceptable.

Blatter claimed the attacks were the 'most disrespectful' thing he has ever experienced, and Champagne admitted the 78-year-old's dedication and commitment to his job, and the organisation, could never be questioned.

"He is married to football. He is the first one in in the morning and the last one out at night. I have learned a lot from him."

Asked if he has confidence in FIFA's current investigation into the bidding process for the next two World Cups, he said: "Absolutely. I am really very happy with the investigation taking place even though I don't know what the outcome of that will be. 

"I watched Michael Garcia, the chairman of the investigation chamber of the ethics committee. He was brilliant, he was strong and I do hope and trust that committee to do a good job because we need to know. It's part of the rebuilding image."

On the chances of restaging the process for the 2022 finals in Qatar, should corruption be proved, Champagne added: "Let's wait. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

"I am someone who spent my first diplomatic assignment in the Arab Gulf. I love the culture over there and I think it is good that we take the World Cup to regions in the world which have never hosted the competition.

"Secondly, in a democracy, the principle is innocent until proven guilty. However, the allegations in the media are absolutely stunning. We talk about political influence we talk about buying votes and conniving between bidders for 2018 and 2022.

"The World Cup - and we can see that today - is so important for the people of football that we need to know. Of course, according to the outcome, we will have to decide and as I have said since I declared my candidacy in London in January, all the options have to be on the table."

And Champagne is desperate to reconcile the governing body with the Football Association after their public falling-out over the corruption allegations last week.

"I fully support Greg Dyke when he said we need a democratic election with more than one candidate," he added. "My vision is about reconciling FIFA with English football because we have a joint responsibility.

"English football is definitely one of the most successful in the world because it is the most equal league in the world which distributes the money the most equally between the teams finishing first and 20th.

"For that reason part of my platform is about reconciling English football and FIFA as we have to work hand in hand for the development of football whether it is in India or Africa."

Champagne, and other candidates, need five nominations from football associations around the world and he believes he has enough support behind his candidancy.

"You have to understand that the election is in a year and some pressures could be exercised on FA's, so I wont reveal names at this stage," he said.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

m not sure how good of a manager he is, but from recollection he does a passable Dutch man, for sure, also.

hump3.
Steve McClaren: Only Confusion Reigns...

G

reat games with free flowing atracttive football featuring 4 top teams, showing it is possible to win in the right way entertaining fans at the same time. All the mourinho apologists if you only care about the result why watch the game at all or any game for that matter. It made me laugh how they all turned up on twitter to criticise pep when mourinho couldn't even get this far.

morpheus99
16 Conclusions: Champions League Semi-Finals

I

still can't see the Phil Jones thing that some people go on about. Whenever I watch him play it's a repeat of headless chicken meets a gurning Bambi on ice for 90 minutes.

diabolicaldiaby
F365's Top Ten Defenders Of The Season

Footer 365

Pep Guardiola says Bayern Munich's 3-0 loss to Barcelona was harsh

Pep Guardiola insists Bayern Munich's first-half tactics against Barcelona worked well and the 3-0 defeat was "harsh".

Gary Neville: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo deserve final showdown

Gary Neville says Lionel Messi is on a new level and deserves to face Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League final.

Pique: Pep right about Messi

Gerard Pique paid tribute to Lionel Messi after the Argentinian magician masterminded Barcelona's 3-0 trouncing of Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.

Mail Box

Coutinho Better Than Cazorla And Cesc...

Philippe Coutinho has outperformed Santi Cazorla AND Cesc Fabregas, while Arsenal need no new signings. We also have mails on Olivier Giroud and shopping lists...

Giroud Is More Than Good Enough...

Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott are integral to Arsenal's title hopes next season. There's also more on handballs, Juventus, and Ronaldo holding Bale back...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company