This years Fifa presidential race has been the most interesting, and eye catching in recent memory. In previous years candidates have emerged, only to bow down and fall out of the running leaving the much maligned Sepp Blatter to run unopposed. This year though the race has produced many candidates. These included a farcical, yet well publicised attempt from former Newcastle and Tottenham player David Ginola, however another former players campaign has proved more viable, and substantial.
Former world player of the year, and Portuguese legend Luis Figo today outlined his manifesto if he was to win the FIFA presidential election. He launched his plans during a Wembley news conference, giving the press an idea of the changes he would make, and how he hopes to beat fellow candidates Ali Bin Al Hussein, Michael Van Prag and Sepp Blatter.
One of the more controversial and headline grabbing announcements from Figo was his promise to use a considerable chunk of FIFA’s budget, to hold a “real and structured” debate on bringing further technology into the game to help officials. Figo has also taken aim at the biggest football tournament on the planet with his proposals.
Figo want’s to increase the size of world football’s showpiece event. Figo would discuss the tournament as it is with 32 teams, increasing the size to 40 teams, and a radical increase to 48 teams. This would see the World Cup split into two mini tournaments, before a final knockout stage.
One rule change that could gather a lot of support, especially following the weekends controversial “offside” goals in The Manchester Utd Fa Cup tie, and Porto vs Basel in the Champions League, is Figo’s plan to return the old offside rule. In short where a player would be judged as offside weather he is interfering in play, or not.
This year’s race certainly could mark a real turning point in world football, and the way it is governed. With Blatter and FIFA coming under increasing pressure for their alleged corruption, this year could finally be the one where we see an end to the farce at the top of our game. Figos is hoping with the backing of names such as Jose Mourinho and David Beckham, combined with his head turning proposals, he will be the man to bring about change.