Front line FIFA presidential aspirant and South Korea’s business and political heavy-weight, Chung Mong-joon says Michel Platini was too close to outgoing Sepp Blatter to be the right candidate to lead the world’s football governing body at this time of corruption scandal.

Mong-Joon disclosed in a press conference in Paris, that the UEFA president is not the right candidate to pull FIFA from the edge of corruption precipice. “Michel Platini was a great football player, and he is my good friend. His problem is he does not seem to appreciate the seriousness of the corruption crisis at FIFA,” he claimed.

Platini, who described Blatter as a friend, has repeatedly called on him to quit since May when corruption allegations against FIFA erupted. The French international claimed the corruption scandal turned his stomach, pledging to restore FIFA glory if elected next February.

But Chung, a former FIFA vice president insists Platini, who has been a FIFA executive committee member since 2002, should have done more to root out corruption in the soccer body than blame-game.  “Recently, Platini said Blatter is his enemy, but we know the relationship was like mentor and protege, or father and son,” the 63-year-old billionaire scion of South Korea’s Hyundai industrial conglomerate said.

“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,” Chung argued, pledging to clean up the institution under four years. “If I’m elected I will serve only one term, four years. I can change FIFA in four years,” he pledged.

Chung also played up his Asian origins, saying it was time to boost the game in Asia and Africa after eight European FIFA presidents since its founding in 1904, and to put more money into the women’s game.

Ex-Brazillian player Zico, former Trinidad and Tobago midfielder, David Nakhid and Liberian FA chairman Musa Bility have also declared their bid for the plum FIFA presidential seat while Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan and South African Tokyo Sexwale are expected to declare soon.

By Olisemeka Obeche


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