FIFA Presidency

Soccer's Last-Minute Winner?

Blatter, Figo
Sepp Blatter and Luis Figo: Is the old master about to be unseated by the young upstart?
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    FIFA has been hit by corruption scandals and criticism of president Sepp Blatter. A white knight candidate could oust him and help to restore its image.

  • Facts


    • Soccer’s powerful governing body has multi-billion dollar revenues.
    • Despite graft allegations, Mr. Blatter is standing again for president on May 29.
    • Luis Figo, a former player, is an untainted but inexperienced challenger.
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Former superstar soccer player Luis Figo has announced he will challenge Sepp Blatter for the presidency of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA).

Mr. Figo, who captained Portugal to the semi-finals of the 2006 World Cup, is so far Mr. Blatter’s most prominent challenger for the post at the top of the powerful governing body. He revealed his intention to stand just one day before nominations closed.

“I am pleased to announce my candidacy for the presidency of FIFA. Soccer has given me so much in my life, and I want to give something in return,” the Portuguese player said on Twitter.

In a television interview with CNN, Mr. Figo revealed that the scandal had played a part in his decision to stand. “When you search for FIFA on the web, the first word that comes up is ‘scandal’ — and no positive words.”

“That’s what we have to change first in order to improve FIFA’s image. Soccer deserves something better,” he said.

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