Former FIFA official Jerome Champagne has formally announced that he will stand against incumbent Sepp Blatter in next year’s election for president of the world football body.
The Frenchman, FIFA’s former director of international relations, announced in January that he intended to run for the presidency – the most powerful job in football – but then confused many observers with his comments regarding Blatter.
At his launch news conference, Champagne had declared he did not believe he could beat Blatter and that he was undecided about whether he would even run if his former boss was a candidate.
“I have the honour of informing you that I have just written to the FIFA ad-hoc Electoral Committee and its president, Mr. Domenico Scala, to confirm my intention to run for FIFA president,” Champagne said in a letter on his campaign website.
Blatter, 78, announced last week that he would seek a fifth term and, with UEFA president Michel Platini having decided against challenging him, the prospect of the Swiss being unopposed looked likely.
Champagne did not mention Blatter by name in his statement but the 56-year-old said it was important to have a debate over the future of the game.
FIFA’s Deputy Secretary General between 2002 and 2005, Champagne worked on special projects between 2005 and 2007 and was Director of International Relations from 2007 until he left FIFA in 2010 after political infighting cost him his position.