FIFA Presidential candidates' survey reveals mostly cautious approach
January 12, 2016
If a vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were held again today, and FIFA Presidential aspirant Jerome Champagne of France had a vote, he would vote for Russia and the USA.
One of his rivals for the role, and the man hotly tipped to win the contest, Shaikh Salman of Bahrain declined to answer who he’d vote for but did concede “if serious wrongful conduct is proven by a court of law, we would of course revisit the issue.”
Despite Champagne’s preference for Russia and the USA, he is equivocal about whether the tournaments should be taken away from the current 2018 and 2022 hosts if corruption were proven against them. He says this is, in part, because the definition of ‘corruption’ can be “too simplistic … in the face of more and more sophisticated methods of influence."
These are the responses to two of the questions in a 30-question survey conducted by #NewFIFANow in December of the five FIFA Presidential candidates. Questions were largely sourced from football fans via social media.
Champagne and Salman were the only two candidates to respond.
In terms of the fundamental policy of #NewFIFANow, other campaign groups and some major sponsors seeking independent reform of FIFA led by an eminent person, Salman says he would consider it.
Champagne says he believes in the capacity of ‘external’ people to bring expertise to the scandal-ridden organisation but believes that “’independent’ is an expression which is not precise”.
Of the top three issues facing football today, Champagne nominated:
Rather than nominating the top three issues, Salman instead said he would spend his first day in the job:
Both men believe that the Garcia report should be published with redactions, but neither thinks it necessary to publish the ISL report which set-out the details of $100 million worth of alleged bribes paid to football officials over many years.
Jerome Champagne’s ‘elevator pitch’ to fans is simply that he is a fan, “just like you”.
Salman would spend the imaginary 45 seconds asking fans what qualities they would like to see in the FIFA President.
In terms of an ‘elevator pitch’ to players, Champagne points to his track record in FIFA, while Salman says trying to convince those who don’t know him in 45 seconds is a “ludicrous and silly endeavour”.
Champagne scores the perception of FIFA (not football) by the global community as a one-out-of-10. Salman declined to answer.
Champagne is one of four candidates who will be presenting their plans for the FIFA Presidential role at a forum convened jointly by the European Parliament Sports Intergroup and #NewFIFANow on January 27 in Brussels. Other candidates attending are Gianni Infantino and Tokyo Sexwale. Prince Ali of Jordan is scheduled to participate via video link.*
* Note: Prince Ali confirmed that he is able to attend in person on 13th January.
Read the entire survey and Jerome Champagne's and Shaikh Salman's responses here.