One of the game’s most powerful people, Mino Raiola wants a position of power to equal that.
The agent who made his name representing Zlatan Ibrahimovic has told reporters he would like to see someone make a change in the FIFA presidency, and he feels he might need to be the one to do it.
Speaking with Dutch paper Het Volkskrant, Raiola said, “I have been criticizing Fifa for years, so it’s time to act on it. I’ve had enough of how Blatter and FIFA have been treating the game. It makes me violently sick just thinking about Blatter being re-elected.”
Raiola, 47, has seen his client list explode since negotiating Zlatan’s lucrative move from Ajax to Juventus. The Dutch club was furious at how the deal was done, thus deciding for a while to ignore any deals brokered by Raiola, but nonetheless it catapaulted the Italian to the top of the food chain. He since has gained clients such as Gregory van der Wiel, Paul Pogba, Mario Balotelli, and a host of other quality players.
“FIFA should be there for the fans, professional players and amateur players, but they don’t do anything for these three groups,” Raiola declared. “How dare you organize a World Cup in South Africa and then ask €150 for a ticket? It’s a disgrace. FIFA wants to organise a party in someone else’s house and then demands a huge entrance fee, but the owner of the house does not get anything. This has got to stop.”
Unfortunately, Raiola has little time to make a decision. He must officially complete the requirements to announce a campaign by January 29. Those requirements include receiving the written backing of five separate FA’s as well as proving he has “played an active role in assosciation football” for the last five years. The official FIFA rule defines that as “a board member, committee member, referee and assistant referee, coach, trainer and any other person responsible for technical, medical or administrative matters in FIFA, a Confederation, Association, League or Club or as a player.” It would make sense that his agent background would easily cover that requirement.
However, the biggest road block for Raiola, according to him, could be financial. He admitted a successful campaign could cost him personally over $1 million, something he says “could be an issue.”
Raiola says he’s spoken personally to over 20 FA’s, and he believes the backing of five wouldn’t be a problem. And if he can’t secure a campaign this time around, he may the next time the election is held. “If I don’t manage to be a candidate this time around, I will give it another try in four years’ time,” Raiola declared. “I will find five FAs to back me.”
Finally, to top things off, he essentially called Sepp Blatter a communist. “It’s incomprehensible that some FAs still vote for Blatter,” said Raiola. “If people vote Blatter, they vote North Korea, if they vote me, they vote South Korea.” He’s got the campaigning part down, it would seem.