S. Korean FIFA hopeful slams ‘cannibal’ Blatter and stooge Platini

Updated 30 July 2015

S. Korean FIFA hopeful slams ‘cannibal’ Blatter and stooge Platini

SEOUL: South Korean billionaire Chung Moon-Joon pushed his candidacy for the FIFA presidency in uncompromising terms Thursday, calling Sepp Blatter a corrupt “cannibal” and painting his main election rival Michel Platini as an untrustworthy stooge.
A former FIFA vice president and powerbroker of Asian football, Chung described himself as a non-European, untainted by scandal and with a vision to make football’s governing body globally representative.
The billionaire scion of Korea’s Hyundai group confirmed he would formally announce his candidacy to replace Blatter next week and also pledged that, if elected, he would only serve a single, four-year term.
“During those four years I hope I can fulfil my agenda, making FIFA a true, sporting NGO — open, transparent, moral, ethical and truly global,” Chung told AFP during an interview in Seoul.
The 63-year-old joins a shortlist of declared and likely candidates that includes the likes of UEFA president Michel Platini and Prince Ali bin al Hussein of Jordan, who ousted Chung from the FIFA executive board in 2011.
Platini, who confirmed his candidacy on Wednesday, is currently seen as the front-runner and is believed to have the backing of four of FIFA’s six regional confederations.
Blatter decided to stand down shortly after being re-elected as president in June with scandal-hit FIFA’s reputation in tatters. He announced last week that the election for his successor would be held on February 26, 2016.
Platini has positioned himself since just prior to last year’s World Cup as one of the most outspoken opponents to Blatter’s regime, but Chung argued that the Frenchman was fatally tainted by his past associations with the president.
“Platini is good for football, but whether he can be a good FIFA president? I don’t think so. He is a product of the current FIFA system,” Chung said.
“There are several questions we can have whether Platini can symbolize a new era for FIFA or whether he is simply a protege of Blatter,” he added.
Chung is likely to prove a strong candidate as he retains enormous influence within Asian football and certainly has the financial clout to run an effective campaign.
And he is quick to play up his past record of clashing with Blatter.
In 2002, Chung was one of a number of executive committee members who actively campaigned against Blatter’s re-election, backing African rival Issa Hayatou and accusing the FIFA president of misusing funds.
“President Blatter is like a cannibal eating his parents and then crying he’s an orphan. He tries to blame everybody except himself,” Chung said.
“If I get elected... I’ll try to have more transparency and development. I’ll try to eliminate corruption,” he added.
Candidates have until October 26 — exactly four months before the vote — to come forward.
They must have the confirmed backing of at least five of FIFA’s 209 member nations, and be cleared by the world governing body’s ethics committee, to be able to stand.


Mohamed Salah misses Liverpool trip to Man Utd, Alisson Becker returns

Updated 52 min 55 sec ago

Mohamed Salah misses Liverpool trip to Man Utd, Alisson Becker returns

  • “Mo was not ready,” Klopp told Sky Sports.
  • Alisson has recovered from a calf injury to take his place in goal

MANCHESTER: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has not recovered from an ankle injury in time to face Manchester United on Sunday, but goalkeeper Alisson Becker is fit to make his first appearance since the opening weekend of the season.
Salah hobbled off late on in the European champions’ 2-1 victory over Leicester two weeks ago, but Jurgen Klopp is hopeful he can return for Wednesday’s Champions League trip to Genk.
“Mo was not ready,” Klopp told Sky Sports. “He could not train with the team.
“Pretty much (he had) no chance for today but maybe for Wednesday we will see.”
Alisson has recovered from a calf injury to take his place in goal and United also received a huge injury boost with the news that David de Gea is fit to start.
De Gea pulled up with a muscle injury in Spain’s 1-1 draw in Sweden on Tuesday, but has made a remarkable recovery to keep goal as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer changed his formation to a 3-5-2.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka also returns from injury to start at right wing-back, but Anthony Martial is only fit enough for a place on the bench.
Liverpool are aiming to restore their eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League with an 18th straight league win, while United kick off just one point above the relegation zone in 14th.