Latest News

FIFA candidate Luis Figo proposes 48-team World Cup

Thursday, February 19, 2015 | 11:57 AM    

Print this page Email A Friend!


LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Luis Figo revealed proposals for a 48-team World Cup and a $3.5 billion (3.1 billion euros) windfall for national associations as he launched his FIFA presidential campaign on Thursday.

Unveiling his manifesto at Wembley Stadium in London, the 42-year-old former Portugal winger said the expansion of the World Cup from its current 32-team format would be "weighted towards non-European teams".

"With that option, we will increase substantially the tournament's financial income, which could be invested again in grassroots football, and allow other confederations outside Europe to have more places in the World Cup," he told AFP.

One of his proposals for the World Cup is to split it into two 24-team tournaments played simultaneously on two different continents, followed by a final knockout stage in one country.


He said the expanded format, which could be a 40-team or 48-team World Cup, would only add three or four days to the duration of the tournament.

Another of his proposals is the distribution of half of FIFA's $2.5 billion revenues and $1 billion of FIFA's $1.5 billion cash reserves to its 209 member associations, principally for spending on grassroots football.

The former Barcelona and Real Madrid superstar also called for the restoration of the 'old' interpretation of the offside rule, "where a player is judged offside whether directly involved in the play or not".

Other suggestions include a debate about the use of extra technology and the testing of sin-bins for incidents of "unsporting behaviour to referees".

Figo is standing against incumbent Sepp Blatter, Dutch football chief Michael van Praag and FIFA vice-president for Asia Prince Ali bin Al Hussein in the FIFA presidential election on May 29.

Like van Praag and Ali, Figo has called for the world governing body to become more transparent following a series of corruption scandals under long-serving president Blatter.

"Mr Blatter, I respect him as I respect all the other candidates," Figo said.

"He's been leading the organisation for many years and has made many positive achievements for football, but I think sometimes a point is reached when change is needed."

Figo played down suggestions that the three challengers to 78-year-old Blatter, who is standing for a fifth term, could eventually pool their resources by rallying behind one candidate.

"I don't know if with one we'd be more strong or not," he said.

"My plan is to run to the end, to see the most people as possible regarding the presidents of associations and try to convince them with my ideas, my manifesto, and see what is good for the governance and democracy of FIFA."

He also confirmed that he would fund his campaign himself and added: "The decisions I made throughout my career demonstrate I can stand on my own two feet."

Figo's campaign has received the backing of high-profile figures including his countryman Jose Mourinho, the Chelsea manager, former England captain David Beckham and Brazilian World Cup-winner Roberto Carlos.

Hailing from Lisbon, Figo played for Sporting Lisbon, Barcelona, Real and Inter Milan during a glittering career.

A skilful, two-footed wide player, he captained Portugal at the 2006 World Cup and won a total of 127 caps, making him his country's most-capped player.

As well as working as an ambassador at Inter, he has served on European governing body UEFA's Football Committee since 2011.

Like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/jamaicaobserver

Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/JamaicaObserver

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

 

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

Do you support the Gov’t giving US$200,000 towards staging the Racers Grand Prix 2017? 
Yes
No


View Results »


ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT