SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 29: FIFA Director of International Relations, Jerome Champagne speaks during the FIFPro Asia divisional meeting held at The Crowne Plaza Hotel, Darling Harbour on May 28, 2008 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Sepp Blatter is currently suspended by FIFA and being investigated for corruption, but that hasn’t stopped a prospective FIFA presidential candidate from showing his support.

Jérôme Champagne, who unsuccessfully ran for the FIFA presidency earlier this year, is back at it, trying to win election following Blatter’s resignation. Champagne is running again in February’s presidential election, and has an interesting campaign strategy, telling ESPN he wants to make Blatter honorary President, while showing support for the disgruntled FIFA head.

“It’s clear for me, that I would propose Mr. Blatter becomes honorary President because he deserves it. As I said, a lot things have been done correctly in the last 40 years. Of course, if you work a lot you make mistakes, and he made some. Everyone has some elements of shade, but we have to praise what has been done.”

Champagne 2016: Everyone has some elements of shade. We can see the bumper stickers now.

To be fair, the comments aren’t far off from what Champagne was saying last January. He continually mentioned how he thought Blatter did a lot of good things for FIFA while refusing to criticize his boss and mentor. Champagne went on to tell ESPN Blatter will be judged for all the good he’s done, not the mistakes he’s made. He says he won’t make any big changes should he be elected. The reformer FIFA is looking for, Champagne is not.

Aligning with Blatter may be foolhardy with the media, but it could prove shrewd with the federations who don’t want to see much change at FIFA if that change means their pockets will be less deeply lined. One might think a candidate would want to separate himself from all that noise, but Champagne’s comments could be sending a message that the status quo at FIFA isn’t so bad for many, many members.

FIFA’s presidential election is set for February 26th. The five candidates admitted and declared are Champagne, Prince Ali Al Hussein, Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, Gianni Infantino and Tokyo Sexwale.


About Liam McGuire

Social +Staff writer for The Comeback & Awful Announcing. [email protected]