Head of Dutch FA, Michael van Praag, will challenge Blatter for FIFA presidency


Michael van Praag is taking on Sepp Blatter as the head of the Dutch football federation is in the running to become president of FIFA.

Van Praag, 67, has declared his intentions to take on the much-maligned FIFA president Blatter after numerous allegations of corrupt behavior has riddled world soccer’s governing body for decades under the watch of its Swiss leader.

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In a statement released on the Dutch FA website, van Praag revealed that he has chosen to run against Blatter because no other credible candidates had emerged and that “it is about time that the organization is normalized and that its full focus is back on football.”

Van Praag, who will speak on Wednesday about his candidacy in more details, also said the following.

“It is well known that I am very worried about FIFA,” van Praag said. “It is high time that the organisation comes back into the real world. I had hoped that a credible opponent would emerge, but that’s simply not happened. In that case you cannot just talk but you must also act decisively and take responsibility so there therefore I am announcing my candidacy.”

Plenty of people are now lining up to try and take on Blatter but potential candidates have until Thursday to be nominated by five of FIFA’s 209 member federations in order to challenge for the presidency.

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The head of Dutch soccer claims he already has the required backing of five federations, so he can therefore stand in the May 29 vote against Blatter.

Others who are aiming to run against Blatter, such as David Ginola, Prince Ali of Jordan, long-time FIFA executive committee member Jerome Champagne and “Super Agent” Mino Raiola may not be as credible as van Praag to take charge of world soccer’s governing body.

Will the Dutchman finally oust Blatter and lead FIFA into a brave new world?