Ginola to challenge Blatter

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David Ginola (Getty Images)
David Ginola (Getty Images)

London, Jan 16, 2015 - Former France international David Ginola is set to announce Friday that he wants to stand against incumbent Sepp Blatter for the presidency of FIFA, several British media outlets reported Thursday.

The ex-Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur player is expected to confirm his wish to challenge Blatter during a news conference in London, with bookmaker Paddy Power and Twitter-based campaign changeFIFA among his supporters.

However, doubts remain whether Ginola will in fact be allowed to stand given a FIFA rule requiring presidential candidates to have played an active role in football administration for two of the past five years and be publicly nominated by five member associations -- something many observers feel Ginola has little chance of achieving.

Also, Paddy Power has become notorious in Britain for high-profile publicity stunts.

But should Ginola, 47, be serious, he is in line to become the third candidate to confirm he is standing following fellow Frenchman Jerome Champagne, a former FIFA executive, and Jordan's Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, a FIFA vice-president.

Veteran Swiss administrator Blatter is set to announce in the next fortnight that he will be seeking a fifth term as FIFA president and he is widely expected to remain as the head of world football's global governing body.

However, a spokeswoman for Ginola was quoted by the BBC as saying: "We will be looking for the full support of UEFA (European football's governing body) and five football associations."

After moving to England in 1995, Ginola -- who had made his name with Paris Saint-Germain -- played for several Premier League clubs, notably Tottenham and Newcastle, as well as Aston Villa and Everton.

Renowned for his model good looks and flowing hair, as much as his football skill, Ginola -- capped 17 times by France -- was named England's Footballer of the Year in 1999, the same year he helped Spurs win the League Cup.

Since retiring as a player, Ginola has worked as an actor and model but has retained an interest in football as a television pundit and through involvement with clubs in Asia and France.

He also campaigned for England's unsuccessful bid to stage the 2018 World Cup, which attracted a mere two votes in the 2010 ballot of FIFA members that awarded the tournament to Russia.

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