World Cup - Journalist to run for FIFA presidency

Fri, 18 Feb 17:08:00 2011

An American journalist is aiming to depose Sepp Blatter as FIFA president.

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Grant Wahl, a football writer for Sports Illustrated, has announced his candidature for the elections that take place in June.

The only other candidates are Blatter, who has been in office since 1998, and Mohammed Bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Confederation.

Wahl claims he is mounting a serious campaign, saying: "It gets kind of old hearing the world’s soccer fans complain about Blatter without anyone trying to provide an alternative."

FIFA have come under sustained fire for the secretive nature of their organisation, and for the process that led to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups being awarded to Russia and Qatar.

If elected, he intends to clean up FIFA by releasing all internal documentation, introducing a term limit for the president, and ensuring a woman is general secretary (a role currently held by Frenchman Jerome Valcke).

He will also introduce goal-line video technology, abolish referee quotas by nation at the World Cup, scrap yellow cards for taking off shirts.

Wahl is the author of a controversial book about David Beckham's time with the Los Angeles Galaxy, entitled 'The Beckham Experiment'.

He invited readers to come up with a campaign slogan offering 'I'm FIFA's AntiSepptic' and 'Cure the Blatter Infection'.

The FIFA presidency is voted directly by member nations, and Wahl must secure at least one nomination by April 1 to become eligible for election.


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