Influential soccer agent Raiola to stand in FIFA presidential race

Soccer agent Mino Raiola (R) and his client Mario Balotelli. 

Jacopo Raule/Getty Images

Mino Raiola has announced his intention to run for FIFA president and challenge current chief Sepp Blatter during this year’s election.

The influential agent – who represents players such as Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mario Balotelli, Gregory van der Wiel and Henrikh Mkhitaryan among others – feels world football’s governing body desperately needs change and he is ready to lead the way.

"I have been criticising Fifa for years, so it’s time to act on it. I’ve had enough of how Blatter and Fifa have been treating the game. It makes me sick just thinking about it that Blatter is re-elected," Raiola told VI.

"Fifa should be there for the fans, professional players and amateur players, but they don’t do anything for these three groups. 

"How dare you organise a World Cup in South Africa and then ask €150 for a ticket? It’s a disgrace. Fifa wants to organise a party in someone else’s house and then demands a huge entrance fee, but the owner of the house does not get anything. This has got to stop.

"It’s incomprehensible that some FAs still vote for Blatter. If people vote Blatter, they vote North Korea, if they vote me, they vote South Korea. 

"If I don’t manage to be a candidate this time around, I will give it another try in four years’ time. I will find five FAs to back me. Which ones? I cannot say that just yet. A lot of things could change until the election."

The 47-year-old faces competition from Jerome Champagne, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein and David Ginola, as well as current president Blatter.

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