Paris: South Korean billionaire Chung Mong-Joon on Monday launched his formal campaign for the FIFA presidency with a blistering attack on outgoing leader Sepp Blatter and a vow to fix the scandal-tainted world football body in four years.
“Today FIFA is undergoing a profound crisis. Under these circumstances, the FIFA president must be a crisis manager and a reformer,” the 63-year-old Chung, a former FIFA vice president, told a press conference in Paris.
“The problem at FIFA is that those mired in corruption, the only thing they are interested in is hiding the corruption,,” he added.
“The real reason FIFA has become such a corrupt organization is because the same person (Blatter) has been running it for 40 years. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” FIFA has been embroiled in a corruption turmoil since seven FIFA officials were arrested in a Zurich hotel ahead of the world body’s congress in May.
The seven are among 14 people facing US charges over more than $150 million in bribes allegedly paid for television and marketing deals. Blatter has not been linked to any corruption case however.
Chung, a member of the family that owns the various arms of the Hyundai conglomerate, vowed that if successful in an election to be held in February he would serve just one term.
“I can change FIFA in four years. That is my pledge to football fans in the world.”
“After decades of ever-widening circles of corruption, FIFA needs a leader who can bring back common sense, transparency and accountability.”
UEFA president Michel Platini, Brazil football legend Zico and Liberian Football Association chief Musa Bility have also announced they are candidates. Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, another former FIFA vice president from Jordan, is also considering a run.
Platini is considered the frontrunner and has already secured public support from key national federations and regional confederations.