Jerome Champagne to rival Sepp Blatter for FIFA presidency

Champagne to rival Blatter for FIFA presidency
Frenchman Jerome Champagne, 56, confirms that he will stand against incumbent Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency next year.

Jerome Champagne has confirmed that he will stand against Sepp Blatter and run for FIFA presidency next year.

The 56-year Frenchman hopes to prevent Blatter, who has already announced his candidacy, from securing a fifth term as head of football's world governing body.

He said in a statement on his website: "I have the honour of informing you that I have just written to the FIFA Ad-hoc Electoral Committee and its president, Mr Domenico Scala, to confirm my intention to run for FIFA president.

"On a personal level, I am happy that the debate about the future of FIFA and football has finally begun with the prospect of various candidates. First and foremost, debating about issues is a normal process in an institution based on democratic principles. Then, this debate is particularly indispensable for football.

"We have to take clear and informed decisions on whether we want to continue with the current economic polarisation and the sporting imbalances it brings in its wake, or be willing to rebalance the game in our globalised 21st century."

Incumbent Blatter has been president of FIFA since before former diplomat Champagne joined the organisation in 1999.

Former FIFA deputy general secretary Jerome Champagne addresses the Hope for Football press conference in London, on January 20, 2014
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