SFA backing Dutch chief’s bid to topple Blatter for top job
SCOTTISH FA president Campbell Ogilvie revealed last night that the national association will throw their weight behind Dutchman Michael van Praag in the race for football’s top job.
Portuguese legend Luis Figo was the latest name to be added to the list of challengers to FIFA President Sepp Blatter ahead of a deadline of midnight tonight for nominees to step forward.
The septuagenarian now faces four challengers for the job in May’s election and Scotland were yesterday revealed as one of six national associations coming together to help green-light van Praag’s nomination. Ogilvie said the SFA had backed Blatter four years ago on the basis he agreed it would be his last term at the helm.
“The Scottish FA can confirm its support to Michael van Praag, president of the KNVB, on his candidacy for the for thcoming FIFA presidential election,” said Ogilvie, with Belgium, Sweden, Romania, the Faroe Islands and Holland the other FIFA members to officially back the Dutch FA chief.
“We believe Michael has the experience, integrity and gravitas required to expedite the modernisation of world football’s governing body. Having known him for more than 20 years, I believe he is the right candidate at the right time to restore harmony to the game.
“We agreed to support Mr Blatter in 2011 on the proviso this would be his last term in office and the Scottish FA continues to hold that belief. We also remain in favour of a term limit for the role, in keeping with good governance.”
However it was still Figo who sprung the biggest surprise so far of the contest after waiting until almost the last hour to announce he was standing. The 42-year-old former Portugal international and world footballer of the year says he already has the minimum five nominations and said FIFA’s decision not to publish the Garcia report into World Cup bidding had convinced him that change was needed.
Figo, who cut his links with an Asian betting company before announcing his candidacy (in stark contrast to David Ginola who is running at the behest of a bookmaker), said: “Football has given me so much during my life and I want to give something back to the game. I look at the reputation of FIFA right now and I don’t like it. Football deserves better.”