If all goes as planned, Sepp Blatter’s controversial reign as FIFA will come to an official end at the FIFA Congress in Zurich this Friday.
Frenchman Jerome Champagne is one of the five men gunning to replace Blatter. But just like his opponents, Champagne will first need to win the election to become the ninth president of FIFA’s 112-year history.
Been There, Done That
Champagne has worked at FIFA for 11 years, before he was fired as the Director of International Relations by Sepp Blatter.
He therefore has unfinished business at FIFA and his self-funded campaign has been all about reforming FIFA and making football fairer for all, according to Sky Sports.
Look at the situation today. I am the only one campaigning about inequalities and imbalances in football.https://t.co/iYVOcA6hAX— Jérôme Champagne (@JChampagne2016) 19 Février 2016
Sky Sports pundits observe that Jerome Champagne has no chance of winning, but his ideas have been an important part of the debate. Even though he is ranked an outsider for the top job, Champagne may yet be involved in the next administration.
Champagne knows his way around FIFA, Sky Sports further reports, noting that he has worked in Zurich as an adviser to Blatter and as the Deputy Secretary General and the Director of International Relations.
Before FIFA he was a sports journalist, a French diplomat and the head of protocol at the 1998 World Cup in France.
Key highlights of his manifesto include his proposition to re-allocate World Cup slots – which would lead to fewer places for Europe. Currently, Europe’s 53 countries get 13 World Cup places while Africa’s 54 countries get only five slots.
He also wants to double FIFA’s funding to the poorest 100 member associations, from £170,000 a year to £340,000 a year.