Suspended Sepp Blatter has thrown his weight behind former Abia state Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu to become the next FIFA president.
Blatter had stated that Africa can produce the next FIFA president when new elections are held in February.
Speaking in Zurich, the 79-year-old this time backed the candidature of Orji Uzor Kalu who he believes has what it takes to head world football governing body, Vanguard reports.
Blatter said: “The position of the FIFA president is too important to be left to just anybody. I have heard of some candidates who want to take over from me. But I find the Businessman from Nigeria, Kalu very qualified and interesting because he is not only a businessman, but a politician with lots of contacts and corporate experience. He can bring his great experiences to bear in the running of world football.”
“He is passionate about the game. I remember how he sponsored one of Nigerian clubs to win the CAF championship twice. He is a man who can take world football to the next level”, Blatter told the Swiss Radio monitored on Sunday.”
According to Blatter, it was in the best interest of Africa to nominate Kalu because of his deep passion for the game.
“If Africa hopes to win the support of other federations, then they must queue behind the Nigerian business man. Football has developed beyond just anybody taking over.
“I sacked Jerome Champagne in 2010 so how can he come back to lead an Association he tried to destroy. You need a man who can command respect and win friends for football.”
“With Kalu Africa stands a better chance”, he concluded. CAF is expected to meet next week to decide on a candidate for the election scheduled for next year. Orji Kalu and Segun Odegbami are the two candidates vying for the post from Africa.” CAF is expected to meet in Cairo this week to discuss the candidacy of Kalu and Odegbami.
Other contenders from other continents include Michel Platini, the French president of European federation UEFA, South Korean Chung Mong-joon, a former Asian vice-president of FIFA as well as the old Brazilian World Cup star Zico and former Trinidad and Tobago international David Nakhid. The South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale is also considering a bid.
The election to replace current FIFA president Sepp Blatter will hold on February 26, 2016 in Switzerland.