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Chilean official considers FIFA bid

08 October 2014, 20:49

Paris - Harold Mayne-Nicholls, who headed a FIFA commission that warned of the dangers of holding the World Cup in Qatar, is considering standing against Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency next year.

If he goes ahead, the former Chilean federation head would be the third candidate to become head of football's governing body, along with Blatter and a former FIFA official Jerome Champagne.

"A decision is not necessary before January 28 next year. The election is on May 29 so we have all of October, November, December and January," Mayne-Nicholls told the keirradnedge.com sport website.

"That means four months to check everything so that the people who have contacted me - and whom I have contacted - can assess the best way forward," he added.

Blatter, 78, is overwhelming favourite to win a fifth new term in the vote by the 209 member FIFA executive on May 29. But he has faced intense pressure over the 2010 FIFA vote which gave the 2018 World Cup to Russia, and particularly the 2022 event to Qatar.

Also read: Ribery returns to Bayern training

A FIFA tribunal is studying a report by former US prosecutor Michael Garcia into the voting process.

Qatar won the 2022 bid despite a technical committee headed by Mayne-Nicholls warning about the dangers of playing games in the Gulf state's searing summer temperatures.

FIFA is due to decide by the end of the year the dates of the tournament. Moving to a winter World Cup for the first time faces major opposition from Europe's top clubs who would be forced into an eight week mid-season break.

The Chilean would need the backing of five national federations to stand in the election.

His main support should come from CONMEBOL, the South American confederation.

Mayne-Nicholls told the site: "Once you decide to be a candidate you have to convince 105 of 209 countries who are members of FIFA, because that is what is needed to win.

"We would have to develop a strategy in which, obviously, CONMEBOL is very important but from which we can also seek votes in the other confederations because (South American support) is not enough to win."

He added that he had called for "fresh air" in FIFA's leadership in a column written for Spanish newspaper El Pais this year.

"What has happened lately has not served the image of FIFA or, indirectly, football.

"There is a complete disconnect between what the fans think is needed and the administration of the game.

"That leads me to believe that you can both accomplish change while maintaining what works well. I do not think it is wise, in the long term, to maintain both the same individuals and structures," Mayne-Nicholls said.




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