Zico appeals to FIFA rivals for early debate

Tue Sep 1, 2015 1:40pm EDT
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By Brian Homewood

BERNE (Reuters) - FIFA presidential candidate Zico has invited his potential rivals to take part in an early debate about soccer's troubled governing body.

The former Brazil international has sent an email to Michel Platini, Musa Bility, David Nakhid and Chung Mong-joon, who have also declared their intention to run, saying that "FIFA deserves a debate at this preliminary stage".

"We all agree that FIFA needs to evolve into a much better organization, particularly in matters of democracy and transparency," said Zico in the email, a copy of which was sent to Reuters.

"Change, however, is not an event. It is a process and we must start by making sure this election is fair, transparent and democratic.

"It is of the utmost importance that all member associations get the chance to know better all potential candidates and their ideas as soon as possible."

UEFA president Platini, a former French international, is considered the front-runner to win the election to replace the outgoing Sepp Blatter on Feb. 26.

Zico has admitted that he faces a tough battle to get the written backing of five national associations (FAs) by Oct. 26, as required by the FIFA electoral rules, to allow him to run for the presidency.

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) have promised to support him only if he first gets the backing of four other FAs.   Continued...

Former Brazil soccer player Zico arrives for a news conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 10, 2015. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares