Former France international David Ginola, has announced his candidacy for the FIFA presidency on Friday. The race for FIFA’s top job now has four contenders, including current President Sepp Blatter, who will stand for his fifth consecutive term.
The 47-year-old former Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton player has until January 29 for his bid to be officially accepted by Zurich-based FIFA, world football’s governing body. He’ll need the backing of five of the body’s 209 members for that to happen.
Besides the formidable Sepp Blatter, Ginola will be facing off against compatriot Jerome Champagne of France and Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein of Jordan at the FIFA Congress on May 29 in Zurich, if he does manage to clear the formalities.
"I believe that I have the credentials and capability to be a strong candidate, a candidate of football fans and lovers of the game from the four corners of the world,” he said on Friday.
Ginola has assumed the mantle of the “fans champion” and has initiated a crowd funding programme, asking fans around the world to help fundraise for “Team Ginola”.
He intends to raise £2.3 million (CHF3.05 million) for a "comprehensive global marketing and communications campaign" over the coming months.
Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has contributed £250,000 to Ginola’s presidential campaign raising questions if the whole exercise is destined to be a publicity stunt.
“This campaign is all about transparency," a spokesman for Paddy Power said.
swissinfo.ch and agencies