Top 10 Candidates to Replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA President

The downfall of the current FIFA regime is one that had been coming for decades, even before the disgraced Sepp Blatter took over as the head figure of what has proven to be one of the more corrupt organizations in all of world sports. Allegations of bribery and of World Cup bids being purchased by committees became so commonplace in world football that analysts and fans alike barely raised eyes to rumors that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service were preparing to strike. A funny thing then happened: The FBI struck in a big way during the final week of May 2015, and FIFA was turned upside-down.

Blatter, to his credit, defiantly held on to his job for as long as he figured was possible. He refused to step down upon initial calls from many within the footballing world demanding that he resign, and Blatter then surprised very few when he won re-election with ease. The FIFA president was not able to celebrate that feat for long, however, as he somewhat out of nowhere resigned just four days after he won what was set to be his final term in charge of the organization. It was learned hours after Blatter announced his intentions on that fateful Tuesday that he is currently a target of an investigation being led by officials in the United States.

Those in that country hoping that an American will make history by becoming the next FIFA president should probably lower their expectations. Early indications, as put out there by the Bovada, is that somebody from Asia or from Europe will be taking over for Blatter down at some point down the road. Logic suggests that the man who is currently in charge of UEFA and who has been a favorite for years to replace Blatter will get more than a fair shot to earn the gig. He will have some stiff competition, however, and that will include the individual who, in retrospect, should have won the job back on May 29 of this year.

All information on the odds has been taken from Bovada.lv and are correct as of June 3rd, 2015.

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10 David Ginola: 50-1

via standard.co.uk

The former player who completed stints at Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Everton has had eyes on the FIFA president job for some time. David Ginola had hoped to run against Blatter in May of 2015, but he was forced to pull out earlier in the year when he could not get the necessary backing. The 48-year old would be a welcome young breath of fresh air to an organization that has seemingly been run by popes for decades, but the odds are not in his favor as it pertains to the next election. Ginola's time may eventually come, but probably not in 2015.

9 Jerome Champagne: 25-1

via theanfieldwrap.com

A former diplomat who has been involved in different avenues of the footballing world for over a decade, Jerome Champagne called for a “new FIFA” back in January of 2012 when he potentially began planning on succeeding Blatter in 2015. “The world has changed and FIFA must adjust to reflect these changes better,” Champagne said at the time. “In essence, FIFA's role, defined when it was formed in 1904, is exactly the same 108 years later. It remains the guardian of world soccer. It was based on the British model of doing things in the 19th century, but considering all the challenges it is facing in the modern world, new measures are necessary for it to remain relevant in the 21st century. That is what FIFA is all about, rather than serving personal ambitions or rivalries between institutions.”

8 Issa Hayatou: 20-1

via bc.co.uk

FIFA would probably be wise to look elsewhere for a new president considering all that has been learned in 2015. Issa Hayatou has, in the past, been accused of taking bribes regarding World Cup television rights and the bidding rights for the 2022 FIFA World Cup that was awarded to Qatar. The president of the African Football Confederation who also serves on the International Olympic Committee has, to his credit, denied any and all wrongdoing in those matters. FIFA nevertheless may be taking an unnecessary risk in trusting Hayatou this time around.

7 T5. Michael van Praag: 16-1

via itv.com

Michael van Praag, the former chairman of Dutch club AFC Ajax, hit out at the election process when he exited the race to replace Blatter as FIFA president earlier this year.  One big hurdle stands between Van Praag and the seat he desires, and that is the fact that he has already, in the past, endorsed the man who is atop this list.

6 T5. Senes Erzik: 15-1

via tr.eurosport.com

Senes Erzik was one of the so-called “FIFA 22” who determined which countries would host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup Finals. Erzik is the Honorary President of the Turkish FA and also the First Vice-President of UEFA. FIFA, like any other organization, should have a line of succession. Erzik may be qualified to replace Blatter, but he should instead move up in UEFA before taking the top FIFA gig. For that to happen, the current UEFA president would first have to win a new job. That may happen later this year if certain experts are correct with their predictions.

5 T5. Ted Howard: 16-1

via mirror.co.uk

Facts are facts, and it is a fact that Blatter would still be running FIFA as of the posting of this piece if not for the work completed by organizations that are located in the United States. Enter Ted Howard, the CONCACAF Deputy General Secretary. An American by birth, Howard spent time working in the North American Soccer League and the National Basketball Association before linking up with CONCACAF. FIFA owes the US big time, and awarding the country with a future World Cup is not enough. Howard could be the American hero that FIFA needs and the American hero that FIFA deserves.

4 David Gill 14/1

via bbc.co.uk

David Gill has the public backing of at least one recognized individual, as Rio Ferdinand Tweeted out the following on June 2: "David Gill.....do the honourable thing & please step forward ." Gill, the former chief executive of Premier League side Manchester United who has served on the UEFA Executive Committee and as FIFA vice president, made headlines when he announced the following after Blatter was reelected: "This action is not something I take lightly but the terribly damaging events of the last three days have convinced me it is not appropriate to be a member of the FIFA executive committee under the current leadership." Gill is now expected to keep his role with FIFA following Blatter's resignation.

3 Luis Figo: 6-1

via provincia.com.mx

Electing Luis Figo as the next FIFA president would represent the organization making a 180-turn from previous regimes. Figo has no significant administrative experience in the world of football, but he did play for some of the biggest clubs on the planet during his career: Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan before Inter entered its current state. He was set to oppose Blatter in the 2015 election, but he instead pulled out and, like Michael van Praag before him, Figo backed the candidate who is atop of this list. The 42-year old will be up against it if he decides to run and stay in the race up through the final day.

2 Michel Platini: 9/4

via uefa.org

Reports surfaced leading up to the 2015 FIFA election that the head of UEFA could consider pulling the organization's members out of FIFA and, if necessary, the 2018 World Cup, if Blatter was reelected. Michel Platini no longer has to worry about that, and he could, when all is said and done, emerge as the favorite to replace Blatter. Platini has served as UEFA president since 2007, and some within the game have believed that it is a matter of when and not if he is eventually the head-man of FIFA. Perhaps he would have more backing from some had he vocally opposed Blatter months ago, as did the man atop this list.

1 Ali Bin Al-Hussein: 1/1

via footyhi.com

He was the only man to oppose Blatter up through the May FIFA election. He has the backing of Michael van Praag and Luis Figo among others. Prince Ali has been referred to as a “reformist candidate” in that he has publicly embraced the idea of term limits for FIFA president. He has also stated that there needs to be more transparency with how FIFA conducts business, such as the choosing of future World Cup host nations. The FIFA Vice President was the only other name on the ballot on May 29, and he would have won that election had justice prevailed on that particular day.

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