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Champagne Loses Fizz For FIFA Presidency Race

Mon 2nd Feb 2015 | FIFA

Jerome Champagne has announced his withdrawal from the FIFA Presidency race.

The Frenchman, one of the first candidates to announce his standing against incumbent, Sepp Blatter, has withdrawn from the race after failing to acquire the five votes needed to be registered as a candidate for the election in May.

Champagne announced his withdrawal in a statement on Monday morning. It read:Distinguished Presidents of FIFA member associations, officers and officials of federations, confederations, leagues, clubs and players' associations, friends of football, I regret to have to announce that I have not presented the five sponsorship letters needed to be registered as a candidate in the election of 29 May.

“I warmly thank the three federations that have endorsed me and the many presidents who explained with candor and friendship, that they could not do it despite their interest in my program.”

His withdrawal leaves Prince Ali of Jordan, Luis Figo and Michael van Praag as challengers to Blatter in the May 29th election after David Ginola stepped back last week.

But Champagne believes his withdrawal was hastened due to many factors.   

“The reasons were numerous. Because they feared reprisals from their confederations having issued "recommendations".

“Because their federations were candidates to host continental competitions.

“Because they relied too heavily on the financial support. Because they were committed to defend a united continental front.

“Because some of the presidents were themselves engaged in an election or simply preferred another candidate.

“The institutions have mobilized to eliminate the only independent candidate.”

Champagne also believes there are vested interests amongst the candidates supported by UEFA and was scathing of them for putting their own needs first.

“How dare one try to make us believe that what is good for Chelsea and Real Madrid is automatically beneficial to Jamaican, Vietnamese, Senegalese, Bolivian, Tahitian or Moldovan football?

“The slogans put forward by the three candidates supported by UEFA clearly show that no one dares to question the central cause of the current problems of football. It is most likely the price of this support and proof that it is not about football, but a purely political game!

“Finally, I will announce in due course the name of the candidate that I will support based on the agenda and his positions with regard to the global issues of governance.”

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

 

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