Journalist vows to run against Sepp Blatter in Fifa election

Grant Wahl has announced his plan to run against Blatter in bid to become ninth Fifa president

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
sepp blatter
Sepp Blatter has been Fifa president since 1998 Photo: Marcello Casal Jr. / ABr

sepp blatter

An American journalist is plotting to end Sepp Blatter’s reign by vowing to run for the post of Fifa president in June.

Grant Wahl, 37, says he intents to stand as a “people’s choice” against 74-year-old Blatter, who has held the post since 1998 and is up for re-election on 1 June.

Blatter’s bid to win a fourth four-year term at Fifa comes in the wake of the corruption allegations that marred the bidding and votes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups last December.

Wahl, who requires one nomination from a Fifa member before 1 April in order to stand, said: “Wherever I go, I encounter lots of dissatisfaction with Fifa.

“People aren’t happy with the way it has been run but up until now there has been no way for anyone to register their feelings,” stated Wahl.

He added: “Fifa needs a Wikileaks-type clean out of documents to show what has gone on.”

Wahl, who has a degree in politics from Princeton University, is the author of ‘The David Beckham experiment’, a US best-seller about the England midfielder’s attempts to conquer America.

The Sports Illustrated magazine journalist insists he is serious about replacing Blatter as the ninth president of Fifa, and hopes he can help “shake up” the governing body’s administration.

“If people can take some humour from it then I’m happy, but I’m totally serious in hoping that this can lead to something that might bring about some real change,” he continued.

“I know I’m a long shot. I don’t have the money to fly around the continents to garner support like Blatter, but I think there has to be a federation willing to support a candidate wanting to shake-up the system.”

Fifa presidents

1) Robert Guérin (1904-1906) – France
2) Daniel Burley Woolfall (1906-1918) – England
3) Jules Rimet (1921-1954) – France
4) Rodolphe Seeldrayers (1954-1955) – Belgium
5) Arthur Drewry (1955-1961) – England
6) Stanley Rous (1961-1974) – England
7) João Havelange (1974-1998) – Brazil
8) Sepp Blatter (1998-Incumbent) – Switzerland

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