Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Chung faces battle for FIFA seat
by Paul Kennedy, January 4th, 2011 8:22PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  fifa

MOST COMMENTED

[ASIA] An election with potential repercussions for FIFA's future will take place Thursday in Doha, Qatar, when the Asian Football Confederation holds its congress. Korean Chung Mong Joon, a FIFA vice president since 1994, will attempt to hold off a challenge from Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan and win a fifth term on the executive committee. If successful, Chung, the controlling shareholder in industrial giant Hyundai, a major FIFA sponsor, may launch a campaign to unseat Sepp Blatter as FIFA president later in the year.

The 35-year-old Prince Ali is viewed as the hand-picked candidate of both Blatter and AFC president Mohamed bin Hammam to unseat Chung.

Blatter and Chung have often not seen eye to eye, going back to the financial problems of 2001 and 2002 when Chung was an outspoken Blatter critic and led the support for opposition candidate Issa Hayatou, who eventually lost to Blatter in the 2002 FIFA presidential race.

There is a long history of feuding between bin Hammam, a longtime supporter of Blatter, and Chung. Only last year Chung said bin Hammam suffered from "mental problems" and acted "like a head of a crime organization" when he supported Bahrain's Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa in the 2009 race for the seat on the FIFA executive committee Bin Hammam has held.

Bin Hammam won 23-21 -- with two ballots deemed spoiled and inadmissible -- in an election marred by accusations of vote-buying.

As the incumbent, Chung would also be favored against Prince Ali, but the Jordanian has several things going for him in his bid to become the youngest member of the FIFA executive committee.

Prince Ali is the head of the West Asian Football Federation and appealing for full Arab support. He has the backing of Blatter, who can offer FIFA's considerable clout. And he has the support of bin Hammam, who is coming off Qatar's historic victory over the USA to land the rights to host the 2022 World Cup.

Last fall -- before the vote on the 2022 World Cup -- Chung ruled out plans to run for FIFA president, but few doubt he would not like to make a run at unseating Blatter. At 59, Chung, who attended MIT and Johns Hopkins, is one of the youngest and most independent-minded members of the executive committee. To demonstrate his own good will within the West Asian soccer community last fall, he donated $400,000 for flood relief in Pakistan.

If Chung loses to Prince Ali, his FIFA career will be over, but it won't be the end of his presidential ambitions.

Chung, a key figure in the Grand National Party, has held aspirations to become president of South Korea. The next elections will be held in 2012.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. Abroad: Weekend Hot (and Cold) List    
Aron Johannsson scored his first goal in more than seven months for AZ in its 1-0 ...
WFC2 to set up shop on UBC campus    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] The Vancouver Whitecaps became the seventh MLS club to launch a second team in ...
Youth Boys Report: U.S. U-17s take third in Chile    
The U.S. under-17 national team fell to Brazil, 4-3, in its second game at the Copa ...
Youth Boys Report: Brazil edges U.S. U-17s in thriller    
The U.S. under-17 national team fell to Brazil, 4-3, in its second game at the Copa ...
NCAA Division I Women's Tournament Scoreboard    
[SCHEDULE: Friday] The NCAA Division I Women's Tournament moves into the second round at regional sites ...
NCAA Division I Men's Tournament Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Thursday] San Diego converted penalty kicks in the 89th and 103rd minutes from Keegan Smith ...
Toronto FC becomes sixth MLS club to launch second team    
[USL PRO] A sixth MLS club announced plans to enter a second team in USL PRO ...
A glimpse into the thinking of Sounders' brain trust    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] The closest thing any MLS club is to a European-style members club, like Barcelona ...
Ferguson named Honorary All-American    
[NSCAA] The NSCAA will honor Alex Ferguson as the 2014 Honorary All-American at the organization's All-America ...
Keane, Martins and Nguyen are MLS MVP finalists    
[AWARDS] Robbie Keane, Obafemi Martins and Lee Nguyen, who will all take part in the conference ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives