David Ginola’s bid to become the supremo of world football in place of Sepp Blatter looks to be coming to an end before it’s even got off the ground.
The former Newcastle star needs the backing of five national football associations by Thursday and to prove he has had an ‘active’ role in football for at least two of the last five years.
There was much cynicism when Ginola launched his bid with the Frenchman having to admit he was being paid £250,000 by bookies Paddy Power to take on the challenge. The bookmaker having been involved in many similar style publicity stunts in the past and now also co-ordinating Ginola’s campaign.
The FIFA rules governing any presidential race state explicitly that all candidates are bound by their code of ethics, these forbid ‘being associated with betting, gambling, lotteries and similar events’.
The funding by Paddy Power and the fact they are co-ordinating the campaign, looks brazenly to be in clear breach of Article 25 of FIFA’s ethics code as a candidate.
The bookmakers have also been collecting donations from football fans to back the bid and the campaign website states that these are non-refundable, the bid being run via a company called ‘Rebooting Football Limited’, which is a subsidiary vehicle of PP set up for the purpose.
It looks a big longshot that David Ginola will get the backing of any national association, never mind five.
While his credentials for having worked in football are most dubious, with claims that a combination of working for England’s failed 2018 World Cup bid and ‘consultancy’ for French third tier club Etoile Frejus Saint-Raphael.
The ‘work’ for the English FA is said to have involved a few weeks of trips and PR events, while the President of the small French club says David Ginola hasn’t had any permanent post, didn’t receive any payment and his services were almost exclusively conversations on the phone.
FIFA is obviously a disgrace in the way it represents football and Blatter’s ‘leadership’ is laughable, a shame there is no credible challenge and sadly this David Ginola episode simply adds to the farcical nature of the whole subject.