Luis Figo to run for FIFA Presidency

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Luis Figo has announced he is to stand against Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.

The former Barcelona and Real Madrid star, voted World Player of the Year in 2001, claims he already has the necessary nominations from five football associations to contest the election next May.

Speaking ahead of Friday’s nominations deadline, the 42-year-old said: “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.”

Figo will be one of at least four candidates in the election, to be held in Zurich on May 29.

As well as the ex-Portugal star, Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein and Dutch FA president Michael van Praag will also bid to stop Blatter from serving a fifth term in office.

Former Tottenham and Newcastle ace David Ginola, backed by Paddy Power, announced plans to contest the election earlier this month but his attempt looks likely to be scuppered by FIFA rules on gambling.