Jerome Champagne confirms intention to stand for Fifa presidency - but only if Sepp Blatter doesn't

The vote will be held next year, with current president Sepp Blatter yet to decide whether to go for another term

The campaign launch of the first declared candidate for the Fifa presidency in 2015 descended into farce today when the individual in question, the former Fifa aide Jerome Champagne, said he would not stand if Sepp Blatter decided to run for a fifth term.

Blatter, 77, has said that he will not run again for the Fifa presidency, which he has occupied for the last 16 years, but there have been indications that he might be prepared to change his mind. Champagne, who worked at Fifa for 11 years said he would stand against his former boss and, in the case of Blatter not contesting the election, indicated he would seek the current Fifa president’s support.

When asked whether he would stand if Blatter changes his mind and runs again at the elections in May next year, Champagne, a former French diplomat, said: “If he stands I don’t think so”. He also said he did not believe he could defeat Blatter in an election, in which the 209 member associations vote.

Champagne’s campaign, launched at the Connaught Rooms in central London, appeared primarily to be a move on his part to put himself back at the centre of Fifa’s power structure with a compromise deal at the next election.

Nevertheless, Champagne made bold claims about restoring transparency to Fifa and allowing the new president to appoint his own executive committee rather than being forced to work with elected members who could potentially be obstructive. “The Fifa ExCo is like if Barack Obama would have John McCain and Sarah Palin [in senior government positions] and them bitching all the time.”

Champagne warned of what he called the “NBA-ification” of football in which certain domestic leagues could become more powerful than Fifa, as he claims to be the case with the NBA in the United States and Fiba, the world governing body for basketball. He called for greater transparency in Fifa, railed against the European Commission and the inequality in the world game.

He also pointed out that the team that finished 20th in the Premier League this season would earn twice as much as the champions of France in terms of prize money and broadcast revenue. However, he offered few ideas of how he might address these problems although he did promise to make his Fifa president’s salary a matter of public record if elected.

Champagne was proud of his achievements in bringing Palestine and Kosovo into Fifa and the unifying powers of the governing body. “If we had a ‘Fifa for water’ where we took a little percentage of money from every country ... we would have solved the problem of drought a long time ago,” he said.

Arts and Entertainment
arts + entsWith one of the best comic roles around, it's no wonder she rarely bothers with films
News
people
News
i100
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
News
i100
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
News
i100
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup