Former World Player of the Year Luis Figo has joined the growing list of candidates hoping to become FIFA president.
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The former Real Madrid and Barcelona legend, 42, claims he has the backing of five soccer federations to be an official candidate to oust Blatter.
Figo is the highest profile name to come out and join the race for FIFA president as other potential candidates for the May 29 vote include FIFA vice-president Prince Ali of Jordan, the head of the Dutch FA Michael van Praag, former French international David Ginola and long-time FIFA executive committee member Jerome Champagne among others.
“I look at the reputation of FIFA right now and I don’t like it. Football deserves better,” Figo said. “Football has given me so much during my life, and I want to give something back to the game. I have seen the image of FIFA deteriorate and as I speak to many people in football – to players, managers and association presidents – so many of those people have told me that something has to be done.”
So, how credible is Figo’s bid to become FIFA president? He acted as UEFA’s ambassador for Lisbon last year as the UEFA Champions League final was played in his home country of Portugal.
However the former Ballon d’Or and World Player of the Year has links to a Asian betting firm Dafabet in 2014 and is paid for promotional work which might not sit well with FIFA, as electoral committee member Dominico Scala has said all candidates must pass an anti-corruption test.
Anybody wishing to challenge Blatter needs to provide proof by 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jan. 29 that at least five of FIFA’s 209 member federations are willing to back them.