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Scottish FA offer support to Fifa candidate Michael van Praag

Scottish FA president Campbell Ogilvie said the body had backed Blatter four years ago on the basis he agreed it would be his last term.

Van Praag has the support of Scotland's FA. Credit: Reuters

Ogilvie said: "The Scottish FA can confirm its support to Michael van Praag, president of the KNVB, on his candidacy for the forthcoming FIFA presidential election.

"We believe Michael has the experience, integrity and gravitas required to expedite the modernisation of world football's governing body. Having known him for more than 20 years, I believe he is the right candidate at the right time to restore harmony to the game.

"We agreed to support Mr Blatter in 2011 on the proviso this would be his last term in office and the Scottish FA continues to hold that belief. We also remain in favour of a term limit for the role, in keeping with good governance."


Luis Figo to stand against Sepp Blatter for Fifa presidency

Luis Figo has announced he will stand against Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.

Reports claim Figo has already received the necessary five nominations. Credit: PA

The 42-year-old former Portugal international and world footballer of the year is understood to already have the minimum five nominations.

There should now be at least four candidates in the contest after nominations close on Friday.

As well as Blatter and Figo, Jordan's Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein and Dutch FA president Michael van Praag are also standing.

In an interview with CNN, the former Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan star said:

I care about football so what I'm seeing regarding the image of FIFA - not only now but in the past years - I don't like it.

If you search FIFA on the internet you see the first word that comes out: scandal, not positive words. It's that we have to change first and try to improve the image of FIFA. Football deserves much better than this.

I've been talking with so many important people in football - players, managers, president of federations - and they all think that something has to be done.

Last year was the World Cup, I was in Brazil and I saw the reaction of all the fans regarding the image of FIFA and I think something has to be changed. Change in leadership, governance, transparency and solidarity, so I think it's the moment for that.

– Former World Player of the Year Luis Figo

FA to back Prince Ali in Fifa presidency race

Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein is looking to become Fifa president. Credit: PA

The Football Association are set to throw their support behind Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein in the Fifa presidency race.

Greg Dyke is understood to have offered support to the reformist Prince Ali, who will aim to oust Sepp Blatter.

It is expected that the FA will formally announce the decision after an upcoming board meeting.

Dutch FA president Michael van Praag - a strong Blatter critic - will also stand, but as he already has the minimum five supporting votes, the FA feel the more reformist candidates who run, the better.

Van Praag to challenge Blatter for Fifa presidency

Sepp Blatter faces another challenger for the Fifa presidency in the form of Dutch Football Association president Michael van Praag, who is bidding to address the "deteriorating situation" at the world governing body.

Van Praag confirmed he was running to Uefa's executive committee on Monday and announced his candidature on the website of the Dutch FA (KNVB).

Michael van Praag is poised. Credit: PA

"I'm very worried about the deteriorating situation at FIFA," the former Ajax chairman said. "The public opinion of trustworthiness is very bad, and with me a lot of people in the world believe so.

"I was hoping a credible, new, fresh face would step up to do it, but unfortunately that is not the case, so that's why I decided to take my own responsibility, especially after what I said in Sao Paulo, and therefore I'm going to go for it."

Fifa president Blatter: Uefa is weak

Sepp Blatter says he keeps being asked to run for Fifa president, as no one else in Uefa has the courage to do so.

The current president is running for his fifth term in office and is set to be challenged by Jerome Champagne, Prince Ali Bin Hussein of Jordan and former Tottenham winger David Ginola.

Sepp Blatter has hit out at Uefa. Credit: Reuters

"I have been asked by the national associations to be our candidate again because nobody that is strong was in. So I go there," Blatter told CNN.

"All those who want to get rid of me should come. All this opposition is coming now, it's unfortunate to say - but it's true - it's coming from Nyon, from Uefa. They don't have the courage to come in. So let me go (on) - be respectful."


Fifa in 'advanced discussions' with potential new sponsors

FIFA says it is in advanced talks with companies to replace a number of sponsors whose contracts have expired.

Credit: Reuters

Tier one sponsors Sony and Emirates plus tier two World Cup sponsors Castrol, Continental and Johnson & Johnson have all chosen not to renew their deals, which expired at the end of 2014.

Moscow-based oil and gas giant Gazprom has joined as a tier one partner ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, while talks are continuing with others companies, understood to include Qatar Airways, the national airline of the 2022 hosts.

FIFA's marketing director Thierry Weil said in a statement:

Rotations at the end of a sponsorship cycle are commonplace in the sports industry and have continuously occurred since the commercialisation of the FIFA World Cup began. It is natural that as brands' strategies evolve they reassess their sponsorship properties.

The contracts with Castrol, Continental and Johnson & Johnson were always planned to run until the end of 2014 and therefore expired on December 31, 2014 accordingly.

As in previous FIFA World Cup cycles, we are now in advanced negotiations with a number of companies related to sponsorship agreements in all three of our categories, ranging from tier 1 FIFA partners, tier 2 FIFA World Cup sponsors and tier 3 regional supporters.

– FIFA marketing director Thierry Weil

Fifa loses three World Cup sponsors

Three major Fifa sponsors have ended their relationships with world football's governing body, it has emerged.

Oil manufacturers Castrol, tyre and car parts business Continental and healthcare company Johnson & Johnson have each chosen not to extend deals with Fifa, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The three companies were among a group of eight businesses identified as 'World Cup sponsors' by Ffia, which also had six top-tier 'partners' at the time of the 2014 tournament. It was confirmed in November that two of the elite group of backers, Sony and Emirates, had ended their relationships with Fifa, with Moscow-based oil and gas giant Gazprom joining ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The Daily Telegraph reports Castrol stating: "We have not been sponsors of Fifa since, I believe, the World Cup last year."

Of its own decision to end its Fifa association, Johnson & Johnson told the newspaper: "It was a decision that was made for business reasons after a comprehensive review."

Continental stated: "It was a great platform for us and now we're using football on a regionalised level."

Campaigners to lobby Fifa sponsors over reform

Fifa sponsors are to be targeted by campaigners lobbying for reform of the world governing body

Lord Triesman wants Fifa's sponsors to make a stand. Credit: PA

The strategy emerged at the 'New FIFA Now' summit in Brussels, the first organised campaign to challenge the leadership of FIFA in its 111-year history.

Former Football Association chairman Lord Triesman, who has previously made allegations in Parliament about FIFA corruption surrounding the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, attacked the culture and governance of FIFA under president Sepp Blatter.

It seems incomprehensible that the sponsors of FIFA should allow their brands to be entangled in this - they themselves have to set higher standards.

At the heart of it is Sepp Blatter who presides over a deeply-flawed set of people. The whole experience of graft [bribery] was appalling.

There is no reason why the 2018 and 2022 World Cup decisions should stand - half of the executive committee members have been proven not to have the appropriate standards.

We have reached the absurd situation where the leaders of the world game go around as if they were the heads of state, which is not the way the sport should be governed.

– Former Football Association chairman Lord Triesman
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