Fifa yet to come to their senses, says Chung of polls date

SEOUL • South Korean tycoon Chung Mong Joon, one of the most influential figures in Asian football, said yesterday that leaving Sepp Blatter at the helm of Fifa until a new president is elected shows those in power at the scandal-hit governing body "have yet to come to their senses".

Fifa announced on Monday that it would set up a new task force to propose reforms aimed at cleaning itself up, a move critics said was an inadequate response to the crisis.

Chung, the billionaire scion of the Hyundai conglomerate and a former Fifa vice-president, told Yonhap News agency that he was still thinking about standing in the election, which will take place on Feb 26.

An "extraordinary elective congress" of all 209 member associations will decide the successor to 79-year-old Blatter, who has been the Fifa president since 1998.

The Swiss had announced on June 2 that he was standing down, just four days after winning a fifth term with an election victory at a congress overshadowed by the arrest of seven football officials.

"I am thinking of running. I would like to open a new era for Fifa," said Chung, who had said last month that he would gauge support before making a decision.

"The idea to leave Sepp Blatter in charge to manage the election until February next year and to let him come up with a reform plan only shows that those involved have yet to come to their senses."

Among the changes proposed and approved by Fifa on Monday were the release of salaries of its top executives for the first time, to impose more stringent centralised integrity checks for members of the executive committee and to form an 11-person task force headed by an "independent personality" to oversee the changes, reported the Wall Street Journal.

There will also be the introduction of term limits for its executives.

Under the new rules, no one would be able to emulate Blatter's run of five consecutive terms at the helm. Instead, the president and the executive committee will have their tenures capped at three terms of four years, according to a person familiar with the proposal.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2015, with the headline 'Fifa yet to come to their senses, says Chung of polls date'. Print Edition | Subscribe