Nakhid launches FIFA campaign with attack on frontrunners

Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:44am EDT
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By Simon Evans

ZURICH (Reuters) - Former Trinidad and Tobago midfielder David Nakhid launched his campaign to be president of crisis-hit FIFA on Sunday with an attack on the two Arab royals who are the frontrunners to replace the outgoing Sepp Blatter.

Nakhid, who played club football in the Swiss league and North America's Major League Soccer, said he had successfully secured the five nominations from national associations needed to become a candidate and had submitted his paperwork to FIFA’s election committee.

Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein has also put in his nomination and the president of Asian soccer, Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain, is also expected to do so before the October 26 deadline for the vote four months later.

Bookmakers have made the two Arab royals the early favorites but Nakhid, who is viewed as an outsider, said neither would be good solutions for the troubled organization which has been hit by a series of corruption scandals.

"We don’t represent big money from the Gulf nor do we represent the luxury of royalty. What we do represent is someone who can stake the claim for a better balance in the global game," Nakhid told Reuters on Sunday.

"You look at Prince Ali, someone who has been head of his own association since he was 23, 16 years. Now he wants to come and talk about reform? He has been there 16 years by decree. What can he tell us about reform? Has he had a challenger in those 16 years or has been there as a Prince? Come on."

Nakhid, who runs a football academy in Lebanon, added that he did not think Prince Alia would be good for the game and he lacked the charisma needed to lead.

The 51-year-old played 35 times for Trinidad and Tobago between 1992 and 2005.   Continued...

The FIFA logo is seen outside their headquarters in Zurich October 7, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann