Thursday, January 29, 2015 2:08 pm
Former France international David Ginola has claimed the football world is with him in his unlikely bid to try and unseat Sepp Blatter as FIFA president.
Ginola launched his controversial bid backed by an Irish bookmakers earlier this month.
“I know it is very difficult to beat Blatter, but I think the football world is with me,” Ginola told Spanish sports daily Marca on Thursday.
“It cannot be that football is the most popular sport, but the most inaccessible politically.”
Ginola faces stiff competition in opposing Blatter’s bid for a fifth term in charge of world football’s governing body.
Former World Player of the Year Luis Figo announced his intention to stand on Wednesday, whilst Dutch FA chief Michael van Praag, ex-FIFA executive Jerome Champagne and Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Al Hussein are also in the running.
The deadline for nominees to announce their candidacies falls at midnight on Thursday.
As well as the criticism over his £250,000 ($379,290, €327,297) payment from the betting firm it is also unclear whether Ginola even fits the criteria to stand.
According to the regulations, all candidates must have had an active role in football for two of the last five years.
FIFA has been mired in corruption claims relating to the bidding for hosting the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, set to take place in Russia and Qatar respectively.
United States lawyer Michael Garcia, asked by FIFA to look into the bidding procedures for both tournaments, dramatically quit as the organisation’s ethics investigator last month.
He resigned after losing an appeal challenging findings by FIFA chiefs that cleared Russia and Qatar to stage the next two World Cups.
Ginola lambasted that process claiming it has “damaged FIFA’s credibility”.
The 48-year-old also threw his support behind greater use of technology in the game with coaches allowed to challenge decisions.
Goal-line technology was used at a major international tournament for the first time at the 2014 World Cup.
“We want to give each coach the chance to stop the game two times to challenge a controversial incident, like what happens in cricket, tennis and rugby,” the former Newcastle and Tottenham star said.