Figo backs FIFA presidential TV debate proposal

Sepp Blatter said last September that he was not interested in a debate

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FIFA presidential candidate Luis Figo is willing to take part in a live televised date with his three rivals, the former Portugal forward said on Monday.

British broadcasters BBC and Sky have suggested the hour-long debate which would also involve incumbent Sepp Blatter and the other challengers, Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan and Michael van Praag.

“Football is loved and cherished around the world and we owe it to the fans to have an open, honest discussion about the future of FIFA as the international governing body,” Figo said in a statement.

“I fully support the idea of a public debate between the candidates as proposed by the BBC and Sky.

“For this to work effectively, I believe all four candidates need to participate and I will be writing to the broadcasters to confirm that position.

“It is essential that we set FIFA on a new course and the football community, including the public and the fans, deserve to know what all four presidential candidates offer for the future.”

Blatter said last September that he was not interested in a debate.

“I don’t know how we can organise public discussions,” he said.

“We are not in politics and we are in sport, and we shall not imitate all that is done in politics,” he added.

“I tried in 1998 and they all refused to speak to me,” he said, referring to the year in which he was elected for the first time.

“If a debate, then in (FIFA) Congress, they are the ones voting.”

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