By JOHN BOSCHINI
ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿For the first time in a decade, Sepp Blatter has a challenger.
Mohammad bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Confederation, ended months of speculation today when he confirmed that he would stand for president of FIFA in this year’s election. Bin Hammam, 61, put his odds at winning at around 50/50 and outlined some proposals in a 17-minute speech broadcast over the internet.
Among those proposals was increasing the FIFA Executive Committee from 24 members to 41. The Qatari citizen said FIFA has become to bureaucratic and centralized and that Blatter had been in office too long.
“I also believe there is a time limit for everything and now is the time for new faces, new blood, new air too. This is actually my message and I hope the voters are going to address these things,” bin Hammam said.
The vote will be held June 1 at FIFA headquarters in Zurich.
Here are some more stories to keep your Friday going.
DRIVER IN DAVIES' CRASH SENTENCED TO JAIL TIME
The drunk driver of the car that left one woman dead and United States’ forward Charlie Davies in critical condition in an accident in Washington D.C. in October, 2009 has been sentenced to two years in jail.
Maria Alejandra Espinoza was legally intoxicated when she was driving Davies and Ashley Roberta back from a night out in D.C. She lost control and the vehicle crashed, leaving Roberta dead and Davies seriously injured. Espinoza pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in November.
MAGATH RETURNS TO WOLFSBURG
Wolfsburg has confirmed the return of manager Felix Magath for the rest of the season following his departure from Schalke earlier this week. Magath led Wolfsburg to a Bundesliga title in 2009 but returns to a club threatened with relegation. Wolfsburg fired English manager Steve McClaren this winter and replacement Pierre Littbarski has had little success. Wolfsburg currently sits second from bottom of the Bundesliga table.
SURGERY ON ABIDAL TO REMOVE LIVER TUMOR DEEMED SUCCESSFUL
Barcelona defender Eric Abidal has undergone successful surgery to remove a tumor on his liver, doctors confirmed yesterday. Doctors did not say whether the tumor was benign but said Abidal will remain in the hospital for about a week.
What do you think of today’s stories? Would you vote for bin Hammam over Blatter? Can Magath return Wolfsburg to its former glory? Relieved about Abidal’s improved prognosis?
Share your thoughts below.