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Champagne submits bid for FIFA presidency

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 23 Oct 2015

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Former FIFA executive Jerome Champagne has formally submitted his bid to become the next president of the organisation.

The 57-year-old campaigned ahead of last May’s election, but ultimately withdrew his candidacy as he did not generate the necessary backing from member associations.

Champagne – who has been outspoken in his criticism of incumbent Sepp Blatter in the past – says the criminal investigations launched into the FIFA president, general secretary Jerome Valcke and a number of other officials has renewed his determination to take the top job.

“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,” he said in a statement.

“At a time when football, our football, is suffering along with our planet and society from the increasing level of inequalities, we have to assert the need to better control the globalisation of our sport. We must continue the efforts to improve the spectacle of elite football and, at the same time, reduce the inequalities for the benefit of everyone.

“Above all 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.”

Champagne has pledged to introduce “the highest standards of transparency and ethics” within world football’s governing body, whilst strengthening the development and academy systems within the sport and elevating the status of women’s football.

He has also called for three televised public debates in the build-up to the elections next February, in order to create “a true and open debate on the future of FIFA and through that on the future of football.”

Champagne’s eight-point plan also suggests changes to football’s disciplinary system, including the introduction of an “orange card” for temporary dismissals and modifications to the “triple punishment” of a red card, penalty and ensuing suspension for a last-man foul.

The former director of international reputations left FIFA in 2010, before taking up active roles in sport in Palestine and Kosovo.

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