Zico confirms running for FIFA presidency

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Rio de Janeiro, June 11 (IANS) Brazilian football legend Artur Antunes Coimbra “Zico” has confirmed he would be running for the presidency of international football governing body FIFA.

The sports body is currently embroiled in a huge corruption scandal that has felled many top officials including Sepp Blatter, the last president, who stepped down last Tuesday, barely four days after he was re-elected, reports Efe.

Not ruling out Blatter’s involvement in the FIFA corruption scandals, Zico on Wednesday said many things would come to light during the investigation by the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Zico, who hopes to replace Blatter, said FIFA rules would have to be changed to increase his chances of being elected.

“Changes in the rules of the game would be necessary because with the rules that are in place now, there isn’t the slightest possibility (of being elected),” said Zico.

“I am 62 years old and I only remember two presidents of FIFA, Joao Havelange and Blatter,” he said.

“Were they the only two capable people in the world to rule over football?” he added.

However, the arrest of the former president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) Jose Maria Marin in the FIFA corruption scandal, Zico admitted, could affect his candidacy.

He was also sceptical of current CBF president Marco Polo del Nero’s decision not to resign saying it was difficult to believe he wasn’t aware of the corruption.

Questioned about the possibility of taking on friend and current president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), Michel Platini, in the elections, Zico praised Platini’s work as its chief, calling him a great role model.

He said he was also happy that Argentine legend Diego Maradona was seeking to become FIFA’s vice-president.

Zico, who served as Brazil’s sports minister between 1990-1992, said the experience would come in handy for the presidency.

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