Football: Chung Mong Joon to launch Fifa bid on Platini's home turf France

SEOUL • South Korea's Chung Mong Joon will formally launch his bid to become president of world football's scandal-hit governing body Fifa on Monday in France, the home of rival Michel Platini.

Chung, a former Fifa vice-president and fierce critic of Sepp Blatter, said last month that he would enter the race and that he would make the announcement in Europe, which he called "the centre of world football".

"Paris has been chosen as the venue for the announcement as it is the birthplace of Fifa and the campaign is focused on reviving the original spirit of football's governing body," his office said yesterday.

The 63-year-old billionaire scion of South Korea's Hyundai conglomerate is viewed as one of the favourites for the job but faces stiff competition from Uefa head Platini.

Fifa's corruption troubles came to a head in May when American prosecutors indicted nine football officials, most of them in Fifa positions, and five marketing and broadcasting company executives over a range of alleged offences, including fraud, money-laundering and racketeering.

The governing body announced on Tuesday that it had turned to the man who helped the International Olympic Committee (IOC) out of its corruption crisis, appointing Swiss Francois Carrard as chairman of its reform committee.

The 77-year-old guided the IOC through its own governance reforms in the wake of the bribery scandal-hit Winter Olympics of 2002.

"I think this is a very big crisis, it is somehow comparable to what I experienced with the IOC," Carrard said on Tuesday. "There are accusations of corruption against certain leaders, there are structural reforms which are badly needed.

"There is the interference of the political world, of the sponsors who are very unhappy, we had similar situations with the IOC at the time. And there is the interference of the justice... it is a very, very serious crisis."

A reminder of that seriousnesss came from Kelly T. Currie, the United States prosecutor at the centre of the investigation into Fifa's affairs, who warned that Fifa's reform plans should not be "superficial".

"Superficial changes at Fifa will not be sufficient and, likewise, mere changes of personnel in certain positions without a genuine commitment to good-governance will not be sufficient," he said.

"And, as our investigation continues, we will be looking at what reforms are adopted and how they are implemented."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2015, with the headline 'Chung to launch Fifa bid on Platini's home turf'. Print Edition | Subscribe