Sepp Blatter’s announcement that he intends to resign from his position at FIFA has led to intense discussion and debate over who will replace the much criticised President when he eventually does leave his post. Blatter has been in charge of world football’s governing body since 1998, but last week’s numerous arrests and ongoing investigation into the organisation’s inner workings has proved too much to overcome.
Immediately, attention has turned to the future of FIFA, what changes need to be made, both structurally and ethically and who will be in charge for this new era in world football. Here, Scottish Fans looks at the potential front runners to replace Blatter once he finally stands down as President.
Gill made his name at Manchester United, where he served as Chief Executive for 10 years until leaving in 2013, the same summer that Sir Alex Ferguson. Currently, he serves as Vice-chairman of the FA and sits on the UEFA Executive Committee. Having initially been voted as FIFA Vice-President, he announced his decision to not take the post if Blatter was re-elected. Whether he will change his mind on the basis of subsequent events is yet to be seen. Would be a popular choice, especially in the UK, but may suffer from being a European candidate. Many will support a non-European candidate given Blatter’s lengthy term.
Prince Ali bin Hussein
Blatter’s only challenger in last week’s election, he would represent a break away from the European dominance since 1998. He is currently the President of the Jordan Football Association. Ali was one of a number of FIFA officials to call for the publication of the Garcia Report into allegations of corruption surrounding Russia and Qatar’s bids for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups. A lack of charisma could be his undoing, but his vocal support for widespread reform in FIFA is exactly what football needs.
Michael van Praag
Initially declared his intention to run against Blatter in the Presidential election, he withdrew his bid only a few days before the day of voting. He is a member of the Executive Committee at UEFA and is the current Chairman of the Royal Dutch Football Association. Was Ajax Chairman during their period of success in the early to mid 1990s. Age is not on his side if FIFA and its’ members want to present a fresh face to spearhead a new era.
Perhaps represents the populist choice and would certainly provide a fresh and young approach for a new FIFA. Figo only retired in 2009 after a glittering career, including success at Real Madrid, Barcelona and Internazionale. Along with van Praag, was a candidate to challenge Blatter before withdrawing in late May. He is a fierce critic of the election process; “This process is a plebiscite for the delivery of absolute power to one man – something I refuse to go along with.”