I want to become FIFA President: Luis Figo
Luis Figo has become the latest canditate to enter the FIFA Presidential elections. The former Real Madrid and Barcelona player wants to become the President so that he can bring about a change in the organisation, which he feels has become infamous for being scandalous for sometime now.
Change in leadership, governance, transparency and solidarity needed : Figo
In an exclusive interview with CNN on Wednesday, the Portuguese legend revealed his interest of running for the post of the head of world football's governing body. The 42-year old midfielder is an acclaimed footballer and famous across the world for an elite football career. He can give Sepp Blatter a run for his money.
Figo has played 127 games for Portugal, which includes the World Cups of 2002 and 2006 and also three European Cups. The two-time world player of the year told CNN journalist Alex Thomas : "I care about football, so what I'm seeing regarding the image of FIFA -- not only now but in the past years -- I don't like it,"
"If you search FIFA on the internet you see the first word that comes out: scandal -- not positive words. It's that we have to change first and try to improve the image of FIFA. Football deserves much better than this.
"I've been talking with so many important people in football -- players, managers, president of federations -- and they all think that something has to be done.
"Last year was the World Cup, I was in Brazil and I saw the reaction of all the fans regarding the image of FIFA and I think something has to be changed. "Change in leadership, governance, transparency and solidarity, so I think it's the moment for that." He added.
The former Sporting Lisbon and Inter Milan footballer joins contenders like former Paris Saint-German player David Ginola, Asian Football confederation vice-president Prince Ali, the head of Dutch football Michael van Praag and an independent candidate Jerome Champagne for the world football’s coveted post.
The nominations for the elections have to be filled till Thursday and Figo has revealed about a support of five FIFA associations for his name to be on the candidate list for the May elections. The former highest paid footballer, who has worked for the management of both Inter Milan and Portugal, meets FIFA’s rule of having an experience of two years in association football. He has also provided his services to UEFA's Football Committee.
No one is untouchable in this life: Figo on Blatter
The uproar over the bidding procedure for the World Cups of 2018 and 2022 has intrigued him to challenge Blatter for the presidency. The awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar has been involved in a lot of controversy with football top governing body appointed US lawyer Michael Garcia claiming a multi-million dollar corruption charge. The investigation took an ugly turn, after Garcia quit the Investigatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee for the governing body for not publishing his report, but instead deciding to post a synopsis on the matter by German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert.
Figo also spoke on the controversial report and explained: "After that report was not published I think that was the moment of change and the moment I thought that something had to be done,".
"If you are transparent and if you ask for an investigation, a report, which you have nothing to hide, why don't you make public that report? If you have nothing to hide about that, you have to do it.
"[Publishing the report] is the easy thing to do if all the people is doubting what happened. If it came from FIFA to order that report and after that you don't publish, it is not a good decision."He added.
However, feels no pressure from the 17 year old holder of the post: "I think no one is untouchable in this life. If you think like that you are wrong. "Of course [Blatter] is a person that is running the organization for so long, since 1998, and a lot of people can be the favorite but I can say for me it is a fantastic challenge to try and convince the people to follow me and support me.
"I have so many examples in football; you can play against the strongest team or you can play against the weakest team and you never know who will win.
"Sometimes you think you will lose and you win, sometimes you think you will win and you lose. That is the beauty of sport. That is the beauty of this running too. It is not easy but you have to believe," he concluded.