Mino Raiola to challenge Sepp Blatter for FIFA presidency
Mino Raiola, a Dutchman with Italian roots, is best known for being the agent of footballing superstars Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mario Balotelli and Paul Pogba among others. Coming only a week before the deadline of nominations for the post of the FIFA President, Raiola’s announcement to challenge Sepp Blatter has given a fresh twist to the elections.
It is still unclear as to how Raiola plans to get the required endorsement before the deadline, that of the backing of five national associations by next Thursday – but the middleman has entered the fray wholeheartedly.
“I have been criticising Fifa for years, so it’s time to act on it,” Raiola said.
“I’ve had enough of how Blatter and Fifa have been treating the game. It makes me sick just thinking about it that Blatter is re-elected.”
FIFA being run on farcical terms: Raiola
Raiola said, “Fifa should be there for the fans, professional players and amateur players, but they don’t do anything for these three groups.
“How dare you organise a World Cup in South Africa and then ask €150 for a ticket? It’s a disgrace. Fifa wants to organise a party in someone else’s house and then demands a huge entrance fee, but the owner of the house does not get anything. This has got to stop.
“It’s incomprehensible that some FAs still vote for Blatter. If people vote Blatter, they vote North Korea, if they vote me, they vote South Korea.
“If I don’t manage to be a candidate this time around, I will give it another try in four years’ time. I will find five FAs to back me. Which ones? I cannot say that just yet. A lot of things could change until the election.”
Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein and Jerome Champagne are being thought to be the two most serious challengers to Blatter’s 16-year-long stint at being FIFA President, while former French player David Ginola is being paid £250,000 by a bookmaker to end Blatter’s reign.