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Rival criticises Fifa presidency candidate Platini

Michel Platini has been described as a "product of the system" by one his fellow Fifa presidency candidates.

Chung Mong-Joon, a former Fifa vice-president from South Korea, confirmed he would challenge for football's top job last week.

A long-time critic of outgoing president Sepp Blatter, Chung has called for a non-European to be elected president.

Chung Mong-Joon doesn't want Platini as president. Credit: PA

He told BBC's World Football programme: "It will be very difficult for Mr Platini to have any meaningful reforms. Mr Platini enjoys institutional support from the current structure of Fifa. Mr Platini is very much a product of the current system.

"It is time that Fifa had a non-European leadership. Fifa became a closed organisation for President Blatter, his associates and his cronies and I want to change that.

"If I get elected, my job is not to enjoy the luxury of the office. My job is to change it."


Putin backs Fifa president Blatter for Nobel prize

Russia president Vladimir Putin says outgoing Sepp Blatter deserves a Nobel prize for his work at Fifa.

Blatter, who is set to leave his role of Fifa president this year, has received the backing of Putin after a meeting in St Petersburg on Saturday, as Russia prepare to host the 2018 World Cup.

Putin also offered his support to Blatter over the Fifa corruption scandal, saying he doesn't believe any of it.

Sepp Blatter, left, and Vladimir Putin, right, met at the weekend. Credit: PA

"We all know the situation developing around Mr Blatter right now. I don't want to go into details but I don't believe a word about him being involved in corruption personally," Putin told Swiss broadcaster RTS.

"I think people like Mr Blatter or the heads of big international sporting federations, or the Olympic Games, deserve special recognition. If there is anyone who deserves the Nobel prize, it's those people."

Blatter: 'Russia will be fantastic' World Cup hosts

Outgoing Fifa president Sepp Blatter told Russian premier Vladimir Putin that the world governing body has complete trust in the country hosting the 2018 World Cup.

Blatter greets Putin ahead of today's qualifying draw. Credit: PA

Blatter met Putin ahead of the draw for the qualifying competition for the finals and the pair then shared the stage at the ceremony at St Petersburg's Konstantinovsky Palace.

The 79-year-old made no mention of the crisis that has engulfed Fifa, saying in his speech: "Today is an important day in the long and winding road to the World Cup 2018. We are on track, Russia will be a fantastic host. It will be a wonderful moment for Russia, the rest of the world and for football.

"Hundreds of thousands of visiting fans will come to Russia for the first time in their lives and will be met with warmth, friendship and real Russian hospitality."

Earlier, Blatter said to Putin there was "complete trust" in Russia's ability to host the tournament - significant given that the Swiss attorney general is investigating the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Blatter said: "We say 'yes' to Russia. Our support is especially important during the current geopolitical situation."

In response, Putin said to Blatter: "As promised, we will do all we can for sportsmen and fans alike to feel at home here."

Blatter's anti-corruption speech interrupted by prank

Sepp Blatter's attempt to outline his plans for an anti-corruption taskforce was interrupted by comedian Simon Brodkin today.

The prankster, whose stage name is Lee Nelson, threw bank notes at the 79-year-old, saying: "Here you go Sepp."

Blatter - who resigned in June following the arrest of several Fifa officials on suspicion of corruption and bribery - said the reforms would include enhance centralised integrity checks for Fifa members and presidential term-limits.

ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers reports:


Blatter: Fifa to set up 11-person reforms task force

Comedian Lee Nelson showered Blatter in bank notes before the news conference. Credit: Reuters

Fifa President Sepp Blatter announced a range of reforms at football's world governing body during a news conference today.

Blatter, who earlier had bank notes thrown at him, said an 11-person task force would be set up to develop the proposals.

The 79-year-old said the reforms would include enhance centralised integrity checks for executive committee members, the introduction of term limits and higher standards of governance.

He said: "Now I think with this we are on the right track with improved governance and greater accountability."

Comedian throws money at Blatter during conference

A comedian has thrown "bank notes" at Fifa President Sepp Blatter during a press conference in Zurich.

The comedian Simon Brodkin - playing the character of footballer Jason Bent - said the money was "for North Korea 2026".

He was taken away by security but not before throwing the bundle over a shocked Blatter.

Brodkin, best known for his comedy creation Lee Nelson, invaded the stage during Kanye West's performance at Glastonbury last month.

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