Argentine football player and coach Diego Maradona says he will run for the presidency of the International Federation of Association Footbal (FIFA), a journalist close to the star says.
“He told me he would be a candidate for president of FIFA and authorized me to communicate it,” Uruguayan journalist Victor Hugo Morales tweeted.
Maradona has been a harsh critic of incumbent FIFA president, 79-year-old Swiss Sepp Blatter. Blatter is under considerable pressure from investigations into claims of corruption by the FBI and Swiss authorities.
The scandal, which has already led to charges against 18 senior FIFA officials, has forced Blatter to announce he would resign soon. He made the announcement just days after defiantly winning his fifth term as FIFA president in late May.
Blatter will stay acting president until a successor is chosen between December 2015 and March 2016 – and Diego Maradona could be that successor.
Maradona is one of the most controversial figures in the history of football. The 54-year-old has played for seven football clubs and Argentina’s national team.
He was also addicted to cocaine for almost two decades, which had him suspended for 15 months in 1991 after he failed a drug test. He overcame the addiction in 2005, but it caused him heart problems.
After retiring from the field, he managed several football teams, including Argentina’s national squad. His latest job was managing the Dubai-based club Al Wasl.
With Maradona as FIFA-president the organization will probably focus on being much more anti-European. Global soccer has been one of the most effective vehicles to promote multiculturlism.