South Korean Chung Mong-joon has given his strongest hint yet that he will challenge Sepp Blatter for the presidency of world governing body FIFA next year.
Chung, a FIFA vice-president, told the Leaders in Football conference in London that a contested election would be “healthy”.
Chung, who is in London to promote South Korea’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup, is widely seen as the senior FIFA figure most likely to challenge Blatter after Mohamed Bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Confederation, announced earlier this year that he was not a candidate.
“It is good that FIFA encourages competition,” Chung said, when asked if had ambitions to stand as FIFA president.
“I have not thought of doing so before seriously but now I will think about it.
“It’s still too early to say there will be no contender next May.
“In order to keep a large organisation like FIFA healthy you need healthy competition.”
FIFA’s “governance must be global, democratic and accountable,” Chung added. “President Blatter once said, ‘change is most durable.'”
The election for the FIFA presidency will take place in May 2011. Blatter has been at the helm since 1998.