FIFA Election: Chung paints Platini as Blatter insider

Chung Mong Joon is an old hand when it comes to FIFA politics -- he served on the executive committee for 17 years and helped South Korea win the right to co-host the 2022 World Cup with Japan -- but he is running as an outsider in his bid to replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA president. His strategy is to paint favorite Michael Platini as an insider and too close to Blatter and the corruption scandal that has engulfed FIFA.

"Recently, Platini said Blatter is his enemy," the 63-year-old billionaire whose family controls the industrial giant Hyundai, said, "but we know the relationship was like mentor and protege, or father and son."

Platini, the UEFA president, was an outspoken critic of Blatter in recent presidential campaign, supporting Prince Ali of Jordan, who had ousted Ching from the FIFA executive committee in 2011.

Chung launched his presidential bid in Paris.

"Michel Platini was a great football player,"he said, "and he is my good friend. His problem is he does not seem to appreciate the seriousness of the corruption crisis at FIFA."

Chung, 61, blamed Blatter for FIFA's problems and promised to serve only one term, long enough to clean up the organization.

"The real reason FIFA has become such a corrupt organization is because the same person and his cronies have been running it for 40 years," said Chung. "If I'm elected I will serve only one term, four years. I can change FIFA in four years."

Chung said the new FIFA president should be a crisis manager and reformer.

"The core issue of the coming election is whether the 40-year-old system of corruption should continue or not," he said. “Organizations begin to corrupt and the leader thinks he is indispensable.”

Chung had worked to unseat Blatter as FIFA president in 2002 when Issa Hayatou, the president of African soccer confederation, ran against Blatter, who was facing charges of mismanagement in the aftermath of the collapse of FIFA's marketing agencies. Blatter survived and Hayatou is now Blatter's closest ally.

In the world of FIFA politics, enemies become friends and friends later become enemies. In 2011, Blatter supported Prince Ali in his successful to unseat Chung from the FIFA executive committee. Four years later, Prince Ali ran against Blatter for FIFA president.

Chung, who holds degrees from MIT and Johns Hopkins, has unsuccessfully run for president of South Korea (2002) and mayor of Seoul (2014). His greatest achievement in soccer was as head of South Korea's bid to host the 2002 World Cup.

Japan was the heavy favorite with a head start on its Asian rival, but South Korea eventually pulled even in a race so heated that FIFA decided to allow Japan and South Korea to co-host the event.

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