Diego Maradona to run for Fifa president in bid to replace Sepp Blatter, close friend and journalist Victor Hugo Morales claims

Maradona's friend has revealed that the former Argentina footballer had personally told him that he will stand for Fifa president when Blatter steps down

Fifa's next president could be former Argentina international Diego Maradona, according to reports in Uruguay.

The man famous for the ‘Hand of God’ has decided to stand as a candidate to replace Sepp Blatter, according to Uruguayan journalist Victor Hugo Morales. Blatter announced at the start of this month that he will stand down as Fifa president following the corruption scandal that has rocked world football, and that an “Extraordinary Congress” will be called to elect his successor between December and February.

Speaking in Spanish on Twitter, Morales claims that 54-year-old Maradona personally informed him of his decision to stand for presidency, having been a long-term critic of Blatter’s and has openly expressed that he was “enjoying” the corruption investigation into a number of high profile current and former Fifa members.

 

“He told me he was going to run for president of Fifa and authorised me to inform,” Morales’s first tweet translated to, before adding: “‘I am a candidate’ were the two words Diego Maradona used to answer me when I consulted him about the nomination for the presidency of Fifa.”

The news comes after Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, called for Maradona to run for presidential election, while former Brazil international and football great Zico has also announced his desire to replace Blatter. However, both will need to gain the support of five Fifa Member Associates, as is required under Fifa statutes to run for presidency.

The only other confirmed candidate is the current Liberia Football Association chairman Musa Bility, who famously broke ranks with the rest of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) and declared that he would vote against Blatter in the 2011 Fifa presidential election.

It remains to be seen if Prince Ali bin al-Hussein – the man who lost to Blatter in May’s Fifa presidency election – and former Portugal international Luis Figo will elect to stand in the election, with Figo withdrawing his candidacy before the last vote took place as he believed he would not win as long as Blatter stood for election.

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Prince Ali bin al-Hussein with Maradona before the May Fifa presidency election

Reports in Switzerland earlier this month claimed that Blatter was having second thoughts about resigning following encouragement from Africa and Asia, and could yet perform a stunning U-turn to remain Fifa president. However, as thing stand, Fifa is due to confirm the date of the “Extraordinary Congress” on 20 July, with the 14th December likely to be the date of the gathering of all 209 of Fifa’s Member Associates.

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