Former France player David Ginola wants to challenge Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency in a campaign backed by a bookmaker.
M&C Saatchi PR, acting on behalf of Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, told The Associated Press that Ginola will launch his campaign in London on Friday.
The 47-year-old Ginola has until Jan. 29 to show FIFA he has the support of five national associations, and he must also prove he has played an “active role” working inside football for two of the last five years.
Although Ginola was an ambassador for England’s 2018 World Cup bid during 2010, the former Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham player appears to have spent his time since then working as a media pundit.
The FIFA election is at the governing body’s congress in May, when Blatter will be seeking a fifth, four-year term as president.
Three other people have declared an interest in the job — FIFA Vice President Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, former FIFA official Jerome Champagne, and former Chile football leader Harold Mayne-Nicholls.
But the trio has yet to show it has the backing of five associations.
Ginola’s involvement with Paddy Power is a potentially risky move. The bookmaker is renowned for its stunts and has been regularly embroiled in controversy.
During the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius last year, the company was ordered by Britain’s advertising regulator to withdraw an advert featuring a picture of the amputee sprinter and the slogan: “It’s Oscar time. Money back if he walks.” The Olympian was later convicted of the culpable homicide of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.