Chung Mong-Joon has confirmed he will run to become the new FIFA president.
The South Korean official unveiled his bid in Paris on Monday, as he aims to help world soccer’s governing body clean up its act and promised fans he will “change FIFA in four years.”
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With current president Sepp Blatter announcing his resignation and a vote to replace him taking place on Feb. 26, 2016, the 17-year leader decided to step down after separate investigations by both the U.S. Department of Justice and the Swiss authorities into alleged corruption by officials has plunged FIFA into turmoil since the revelations were released in May.
Speaking about the current image of FIFA, the newly announced presidential candidate had the following to say.
“The real reason FIFA has become such a corrupt organization is because the same person and his cronies have been running it for 40 years. Absolute power corrupts absolutely,” Chung said. “It has pained me to witness the spectacle of the FIFA president being booed by the fans at football stadiums everywhere. In 2011, when a European sports magazine conducted a survey asking `What do you think about FIFA President Joseph Blatter?’ 95 percent said `Blatter is ruining football.'”
Chung is already a honorary vice president of FIFA and has been a member of FIFA’s executive committee from the mid-1990s until 2011. He has long been outspoken against Blatter and although Michel Platini is the red-hot favorite to replace Blatter in the Feb. 26 elections after announcing his candidacy, Chung could be seen as having a strong backing from the anti-Blatter campaign as Platini is a long-term friend of FIFA’s current president.
The main issue for Chung is that his own confederation, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), has already publicly backed Platini. The former president of the Korean Football Association — who ran to become the mayor of Seoul earlier this year but didn’t prevail — will face an uphill struggle to win the necessary votes from FIFA’s 209 federations, but his arrival into the race will make things very interesting.