The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) will endorse Zico’s candidacy for the FIFA presidency, the former attacker announced on Thursday.
Zico announced his intention to run in next year’s FIFA presidential elections in June, with the former Brazil international set to challenge UEFA president Michel Platini and Jordan FA president Prince Ali bin Hussein for the right to replace Sepp Blatter.
In June, Blatter formally announced he would stand down as FIFA president, ending his reign that began in 1998.
Receiving the CBF’s endorsement was clearly an important symbolic moment for Zico, although Brazil’s football governing body will only follow through with their backing if the 62-year-old can earn the support of four other associations, which is required by FIFA to stand for election.
“As a Brazilian I couldn’t start before hearing from football’s head body of my country. I’ve played for 10 years in the national squad and always tried to dignify the name of Brazilian football, so I wanted this support in my country,” Zico said in a statement on CBF’s website.
“By getting it, I’m more motivated to go on and try [to find] the other four supporters I need, and to work hard to gain everybody’s confidence for the presidency. It’s one step at a time and the first one is well done.”
Zico added: “I’m very happy and I want to thank him [CBF president Marco Polo Del Nero] for receiving me here. I talked to him about my candidature and I was happy with his response.
“We need five supporters, CBF will support me if I bring the other four and that’s important. I wanted to start only after hearing from CBF, so I’m very happy with that and thankful to the CBF’s president and the club presidents that were here today.”
Zico played 71 matches for Brazil between 1976 and 1986, scoring 48 goals for his country, while he spent most of his club career with home-town club Flamengo.
He has been a coach since 1999, leading clubs like Fenerbahce and Olympiacos, plus the national teams of Japan and Iraq, while he is currently in charge of Indian Super League side FC Goa.
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