Ginola: Football needs refreshing

Former Newcastle, Tottenham and Everton midfielder David Ginola has launched his campaign for the presidency of FIFA by declaring the game needs to be ‘refreshed,’ ESPN has reported.

Ginola, in association with bookmaker Paddy Power and football reform group changeFIFA, on Friday announced his intention to oppose incumbent Sepp Blatter in the May election. The ex-France international has to be nominated by a FIFA member association and receive support from five others before his name can be on the ballot, leading to accusations of a publicity stunt.

“It is time that football was refreshed,” Ginola said. “We have to be brave and deal with what is going on in this game we love. I know it will not be easy for me to be elected but I have to try. I always did my best on the pitch and I will do the same now.

“Football belongs to the people and they deserve to have a voice. We want transparency so that everyone knows where every penny goes,” he continued. “People need to be able to trust the decisions being made by those in charge. I’m doing this because I believe I can make a difference. It doesn’t matter that I was a well-known footballer.

“My experiences mean I know about what is good and bad in football. Football is a game which brings people together and this is what FIFA should focus on. I’m always being asked questions about what is needed to change FIFA. Well now I’m going to do something about it.”

Also standing against Blatter are former FIFA executive Jerome Champagne and FIFA vice-president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan.

Ginola represented Paris Saint-Germain, among other clubs, in his native France, before moving to the Premier League in 1995 with Newcastle. He retired in 2002 after a short spell at Goodison Park and won 17 caps for his country.

A Different League has previously spoken to changeFIFA about the need for football reform.

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