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Champagne backs Blatter to reform FIFA

Former FIFA presidential candidate Jerome Champagne declared the “political controversies” of football’s governing body are not Sepp Blatter’s fault but that of the executive committee.

Speaking to Perform in the aftermath of Blatter’s re-election as president on Saturday, Champagne claimed the inability of the FIFA president to appoint its own government – the executive committee or ExCo – makes it difficult to institute reform.

“The FIFA President, forget the name of Mr Blatter for one minute, is elected by the world parliament of football,” Champagne explained.

“This person cannot appoint his government because the members of the ExCo are designated by non-members with a different political agenda and a different political calendar. Which means that all the political controversies which are supposed to be settled once the election takes place, continue to mar the functioning of the government, to continue to have disputes inside the government.”

FIFA’s presidential election between Blatter and Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Hussein was marred by arrests in the lead-up of numerous prominent football officials including vice-presidents Jack Warner and Jeffrey Webb on corruption charges.

Champagne – a former advisor to Blatter and a short-lived candidate for the 2015 election – insists his former mentor can reform FIFA.

The 56-year-old former French diplomat urged some of Blatter’s biggest critics to get behind the 79-year-old Swiss.

Football Association Vice chairman David Gill has rejected a spot on the ExCo in protest against Blatter but Champagne reckons England should be more involved in FIFA not less.

“Being a diplomat, from my origin, I know that the empty-chair policy has never produced any results,” Champagne said.

“FIFA and the English FA – in particular because the English league is the best in the world – should work hand-in-hand. We have a common, historical responsibility for world football and you will remember I said that on and on because I love English football and I like this country.

“So I call upon him [Gill] to reverse his decision.”

Mon 1 Jun, 2015
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