Zico wants September debate with FIFA rivals: source

Sat Sep 5, 2015 6:17pm EDT
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By Brian Homewood

BERNE (Reuters) - FIFA presidential candidate Zico wants to hold a debate with his rivals in Zurich later this month, a source close to the former Brazilian international told Reuters on Saturday.

Zico made the suggestion in an email to rival candidate Chung Mong-joon and also said the BBC was willing to organize the debate.

He suggested, said the source, that it take place between Sept. 23 and 25, the same week the executive committee of soccer's scandal-hit governing body meet in Zurich.

Chung had previously written to Zico, saying he agreed with the Brazilian's call made earlier this week, for an early debate among the candidates.

Michel Platini, president of European soccer's ruling body UEFA, is considered the frontrunner to win the election to replace the outgoing Sepp Blatter on Feb. 26.

"Dr Chung fully agrees with Mr Zico's proposal and hopes that Mr Platini and other candidates express their views on holding a public debate," said the South Korean's spokesman in a statement sent to Reuters.

Zico has admitted he faces a tough battle to get the written backing of five national FAs required by FIFA's electoral rules to officially enter the race.

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) have promised to support him once he has the backing of four other FAs.   Continued...

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