Zen Ruffinen asked to stand for FIFA presidency

Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:55pm EDT
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By Brian Homewood

ZURICH (Reuters) - Former FIFA secretary-general Michel Zen Ruffinen has been asked to stand for the presidency of soccer's governing body and is studying the situation, he said on Monday.

"I am simply studying the situation following some requests that I have received to (be a) candidate for the position," the Swiss told Reuters. "I will monitor the situation, see how it develops in the next days and check the feasibility (to see) if it makes sense."

Zen Ruffinen, a former referee, did not say who had suggested he stand. He served as FIFA's secretary general from 1998 to 2002 and left after falling out with FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

FIFA is due to choose a successor to Blatter, who is now in his fifth mandate, at an extraordinary Congress on Feb. 26.

Embroiled in a corruption scandal, Blatter was suspended for 90 days by FIFA's ethics committee on Thursday along with UEFA president Michel Platini, pending a full investigation. Both have announced they will appeal and have denied wrongdoing.

Until recently, Platini had been the favorite to replace Blatter.

Zen-Ruffinen was a fierce critic of Blatter's presidential style and, one month before the presidential election in May 2002, produced an explosive report accusing Blatter of mismanaging Fifa's finances.

He highlighted misleading accounting practices and evidence of conflicting interests, which led to 11 Fifa executive committee members bringing a criminal complaint against Blatter.   Continued...