Ex-FIFA Deputy Jerome Champagne Announces Bid to Replace Blatter

Jerome Champagne, a former FIFA deputy general secretary, launched a bid to replace Sepp Blatter as president of soccer’s governing body in next year’s election.

The former French diplomat announced his candidacy at a news conference in London today.

Champagne, 55, worked under Switzerland’s Blatter from 1999 to 2010, first as an adviser to the president and then in other roles.

“We need a different FIFA, more democratic, more respected, which behaves better and which does more,” Champagne told reporters.

Blatter has held soccer’s most powerful post since replacing Joao Havelange in 1998. The 77-year-old was re-elected in 2002, 2007 and 2011 and hasn’t announced whether he’ll stand at the end of his current term, which expires in 2015.

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