Champagne to stand for FIFA presidency
Former FIFA adviser Jerome Champagne has announced that he is to stand for the presidency of world football's governing body.
Champagne, an ex-adviser to current FIFA president Sepp Blatter, stated he is to stand for election next year during a news conference in London on Monday.
A former French diplomat, Champagne could well come up against Blatter, who has been in his role since 1998, for the presidency.
Blatter, who originally said this would be his final four-year term, stated he will not make a decision on whether to run for a fifth term until just before the FIFA Congress in June.
However, he said last week that he is not ready to retire just yet, suggesting that he will indeed stand to extend his presidency. UEFA president Michel Platini, meanwhile, has yet to say if he will seek the post.
Champagne was also director of international relations at FIFA and at one time a staunch Blatter loyalist, only to part company with the governing body in 2010. His exit was believed to be evidence of Blatter strengthening his grip on the presidency, with Champagne seen as a potential challenger at the time.
Before moving into the world of football, Champagne's diplomatic postings included four years in Los Angeles as deputy consul-general. He also worked as protocol chief when France hosted the 1998 World Cup, joining FIFA soon after Blatter was elected as president that year.