Fifa presidency race: South Korean Chung Mong-joon challenges Michel Platini for world football's top job

Chung was on the executive committee that voted for Qatar and Russia as World Cup hosts

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The Independent Football

South Korean Chung Mong-joon has declared his intention to contest Fifa’s presidential election in February, joining Uefa president Michel Platini and Musa Bility, head of the Liberian FA.

The presence of Chung, a former Fifa vice-president and the largest shareholder in Hyundai – the South Korean car company who have been a leading Fifa sponsor since 1999 – will increase the political wranglings around the contest, a spectacle Fifa’s critics want left in the past.

“If I get elected, my job is not to enjoy the luxury of the office,” the 63-year-old said. “My job is to change it. It will be very difficult for Mr Platini to have any meaningful reforms. Mr Platini enjoys institutional support from the current structure of Fifa. Mr Platini is very much a product of the current system.”

However, Chung was also on the Fifa executive committee that voted for Qatar and Russia as World Cup hosts in 2010, and has less than cordial relations with the Football Association, having reneged on a promise to vote for England to host the 2018 tournament, in favour of Russia.

He would also need to secure nominations from five countries, a task that will not be easy given Europe will support Platini.

The Asian Confederation, via Sheikh Ahmad of Kuwait, is likely to do the same, quite possibly in return for more seats on Fifa’s 25-man executive committee – one of which could come at the expense of Great Britain.

Candidates have until 26 October to secure the nominations and formally declare their candidacy.

The matter is further complicated by the creation of an independent task force which is expected to propose a series of reforms to Fifa’s governance structures in six weeks’ time.

They may yet propose drastically different methods by which Fifa should select its president, but such proposals could not be voted through until after the election.

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