Figueroa may stand for FIFA presidency

SANTIAGO - Former South American player of the year Elias Figueroa may challenge Sepp Blatter for the presidency of FIFA, the Chilean said on Friday.

The 64-year-old ex-central defender said he was the choice of a group called FIFA Change who are seeking a new leader of world football's ruling body at the 1 June election in Zurich.

"This arose through a group in England and other parts of Europe who wanted to present someone as a candidate for FIFA and they called me to join a committee which later decided I was the most suitable person as a candidate," Figueroa told Reuters.

"I really didn't want this to be known, but the news came out. I'll only be replying on Monday or Tuesday and if I accept I'll reveal who my backers are."

Blatter, who succeeded Brazilian Joao Havelange in 1998, has said he will seek re-election for one more four-year term before retiring in 2015.

The Swiss is already certain to be up against Qatar's Mohamed Bin Hammam, leader of the Asian Football Confederation, in the June 1 presidential election.

Figueroa, who shone for Penarol of Uruguay and Internacional of Brazil and played for Chile at three World Cups, said the support group had gained backing from a FIFA national federation.

"If I accept I know I'll face a rather difficult scenario but nothing is impossible.

"I know very good things have been done in football but we also have some proposals," said South America's triple player of the year from 1974-76.


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