Former Ballon d’Or winner Luis Figo released his manifesto at a Wembley press conference today as he prepares to challenge Prince Ali Bin Hussein, Michael van Pragg and incumbent Sepp Blatter for the presidency of FIFA.
During his press conference, the ex-Barcelona and Real Madrid player stated he would like the World Cup format to be expanded to as many as 48 teams – with non-European clubs benefiting from a larger tournament.
“I believe we should consider proposals to expand the competition to a 40 or even a 48-team World Cup,” Figo said. “Both these options are feasible with an extra three to four days of tournament play. If this expansion were to take place, I believe that additional nations should come from non-European nations.”
Figo went on to say that every aspect of the sport needs to be analyzed and improved on; whether it be goal line technology, the introduction of sin bins for players guilty of unsporting behavior towards match referees or restoring the ‘old’ offside rule – where a player is judged offside whether directly involved with the play or not.
“I want to look at the calendar, the rules of the game, the format of the competitions, but all in a manner involving dialogue and consensus. I want football to keep up with the times. I want to review rule changes every four years and keep debate alive about introducing new technology in the game.”
With his campaign slogan of #ForFootball, Figo focused on the importance of the game on his life and his desire to give something back to the sport as reasons for his candidacy.
“Football has been my passion since I was a boy,” he concluded. “I’ve been very lucky to have always been able to play and train from an early age.”
“Sadly, there are many children all over the world who are not afforded this privilege. My objective as FIFA president would be to guarantee that all boys and girls would have the same opportunities I was fortunate enough to have.”
“I feel an obligation to give something back to football after all it has given to me.”
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