Champagne pessimistic about nominations to challenge Blatter

Jerome Champagne hopes to challenge Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency. 

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FIFA presidential hopeful Jerome Champagne has admitted he is not sure he will be able to get the five nominations required to be able to stand against Sepp Blatter.

French former FIFA official Champagne was the first man to declare he would stand against the Swiss president in his campaign for a fifth term while Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein threw his hat in the ring on Monday.

A candidate needs to get five nominations from the 209 FIFA members to be able to stand for the presidency and, while Blatter and Prince Ali are both certain to pass that mark,Champagne admitted he may struggle to make it into the race.

"It could be easier to get 50 votes sometimes than to get five letters of support because there is a lot of inertia," he told BBC Radio 5 Live. "There is a lot of fear, sometimes pressure, and there is also some people fearing coming out.

"We are at the stage now where people should not express support – meaning that they guarantee to vote – but just presenting candidates to make sure that the debate will continue."

Champagne has long been considered a rank outsider to replace Blatter in the top job at FIFA while Prince Ali, a FIFA vice-president, is the first real credible challenger to emerge and is likely to be embraced by reformers in the football world, including England.

Blatter has been unopposed in the elections since 2002 and is the strong favourite to retain his position in May.