Former FIFA Vice President Chung Mong-joon plans to officially announce his candidacy for president of soccer’s world governing body during a visit to Europe next month.
FIFA has settled on Feb. 26 as the date for an election to replace long-serving president Sepp Blatter. In an earlier interview with The Associated Press, Chung said that a non-European leader would help breathe “new wind” into FIFA.
Chung told reporters before flying out of Seoul on Thursday that he believes FIFA became more corrupt after he lost his job as vice president in 2011.
“It won’t be an easy, but I think it would be worth it, and there could be good results if I try hard enough,” Chung said about his potential candidacy. “I plan to officially announce my candidacy in mid-August, and if possible, in Europe, the center of world soccer.”
FIFA is reeling from the indictment of 14 people including two now-ousted vice presidents who were arrested in Zurich in a US investigation into alleged racketeering, bribery and money laundering in soccer.
Chung, who was a key figure in helping South Korea land the right to co-host the 2002 World Cup, was a FIFA vice president for 17 years and was once considered a candidate to succeed Blatter before losing his seat in 2011.
The billionaire scion of the Hyundai business group has also been a South Korean lawmaker and presidential candidate. The Feb. 26 date agreed by FIFA’s executive committee on Monday was a political victory for Blatter over European governing body UEFA and its supporters in other continents who wanted a December ballot.
UEFA President Michel Platini, Brazil great Zico and Liberia federation president Musa Bility are among the other likely contenders to run for the FIFA presidency.
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