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Chung Mong-Joon To Stand For FIFA Presidency

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Chung Mong-Joon has announced his candidacy for the FIFA presidency and vowed to clean up the governing body if he gets elected.

The South Korean spoke at a news conference in Paris, declaring “it is my privilege and honour to announce my candidacy,” before taking aim at long-standing but outgoing president Sepp Blatter and “his cronies”.

“The real reason FIFA has become such a corrupt organisation is because the same person and his cronies have been running it for 40 years. Absolute power corrupts absolutely,” Chung said.

“It has pained me to witness the spectacle of the FIFA president being booed by the fans at football stadiums everywhere.

“In 2011, when a European sports magazine conducted a survey asking ‘What do you think about FIFA president Joseph Blatter?’ 95 percent said ‘Blatter is ruining football.'”

On May 27, a United States federal investigation was unleashed on FIFA and although Blatter won re-election two days later, it took only four more days before he decided to step down after 17 years as the head of the organisation.

Chung, a FIFA honorary vice-president, promised change if he wins the election on February 26.

“Under these circumstances, the FIFA president must be a crisis manager and a reformer,” he said.

“He must be more than just a head of the technical department. After decades of an ever-widening circle of corruption, FIFA needs a leader who can bring back common sense, transparency and accountability.”

UEFA president Michel Platini has already declared his candidacy and is widely tipped to replace Blatter, whom he formerly supported.

However, Chung, who was a member of FIFA’s executive committee from the mid-1990s until 2011, criticised the former France midfielder for having a “father and son” and “mentor-student” relationship with Blatter over the years.

In a clear swipe at Platini, who is now an outspoken opponent of the outgoing president, Chung said: “It has suddenly become very fashionable to be Blatter’s enemy, this is too convenient.”

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, who lost the last FIFA election to Blatter, is also touted to stand again along with ex-Brazil great Zico.

Former Trinidad and Tobago midfielder David Nakhid and Liberian FA chairman Musa Bility have also said they are running, while South African Tokyo Sexwale has also said he is weighing up whether to stand.