PARIS • South Korean tycoon Chung Mong Joon yesterday launched his campaign for the Fifa presidency with a blistering attack on outgoing leader Sepp Blatter.
"Today Fifa is undergoing a profound crisis. Under these circumstances, the Fifa president must be a crisis manager and a reformer," the 63-year-old, a former Fifa vice-president, told a press conference in Paris.
"The real reason Fifa has become such a corrupt organisation is because the same person has been running it for 40 years. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Fifa has been embroiled in a corruption turmoil since seven Fifa officials were arrested in a Zurich hotel ahead of the world body's congress in May. The seven are among 14 people facing US charges over more than US$150 million (S$211 million) in bribes allegedly paid for granting television and marketing deals.
Blatter has not been linked to any corruption case however. Chung, a member of the family that owns the various arms of the Hyundai conglomerate, vowed that if successful in an election to be held in February he would serve just one term. "I can change Fifa in four years. That is my pledge to fans in the world," he said.
Uefa president Michel Platini, Brazil football great Zico and Liberian Football Association chief Musa Bility have also announced they are candidates.
The Fifa election campaign is already turning into a bitter affair with allegations of behind the scenes dirty tricks.
Blatter alleged in a Dutch newspaper interview that Platini warned him he faced prison if he did not withdraw from the election for the head of the world body in May.
Blatter won the vote but announced four days later that he would stand down. Blatter told de Volkskrant newspaper that the warning was made to his brother.
But German newspaper Die Welt said Sunday that Blatter was behind the distribution of an article by Swiss journalist Thomas Renggli which lambasted Platini.
Uefa has written to Fifa calling for an investigation into the 1400-word article "Platini: A skeleton in the closet". The global football body confirmed yesterday that it will look into the matter.