Carlos Alberto: Game should be run by ex-players

RIO DE JANEIRO - The corruption scandal embroiling football's world governing body FIFA highlights the fact the sport should be run by former players, Brazil's 1970 World Cup-winning captain Carlos Alberto Torres said on Monday.

"There should be a general change, there are so many good people who could take office," Carlos Alberto told Reuters before he named former French international Michel Platini and Germany's Franz Beckenbauer as former players who have done good work as football administrators.

"Platini is doing a fantastic job at (European governing body) UEFA, you can see the success of the Champions League," he said. "There's Beckenbauer, who brilliantly organised the World Cup in Germany (in 2006)."

Allegations of bribery among FIFA officials, being investigated by the body's Ethics Committee, have led to the suspension of CONCACAF president Jack Warner and Asian Football Confederation counterpart Mohamed bin Hammam.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been cleared by the committee and is set to run unopposed for a fourth term in Wednesday's presidential election after Bin Hammam withdrew his candidacy at the weekend following the allegations and Carlos Alberto said it indicated time might be right for a change.

"I think there should be new people in command of the bodies," he said in a telephone interview. "With the same people staying (in power) so long there is a vicious circle.

"I think renewal is good in any area, not just football. That thing of a person being eternally in charge creates complications that make people suspect there is corruption," added the Brazilian.

"The ideal would be for things to be clear, in the sense of honest, but from the moment there are suspicions I don't think it's at all good for football."

There was an attempt in March by the little-known group Change FIFA to put former Chile defender Elias Figueroa up as a candidate in the election but after mulling it over he decided he had too little time to prepare a creditable platform from which to try to wrest power from Blatter.

"My idea was that great figures (in football) should have more presence, those with most (footballing) qualifications, experience," the 64-year-old Figueroa, a three times South American Player of the Year in the 1970s, told Reuters on Monday.

"It's a shame all this is coming out in public, it dirties football."