By RYAN TOLMICH
Incumbent president Sepp Blatter will face competition in FIFA’s upcoming elections, but it will not come from Jerome Champagne.
Champagne announced Monday that he has withdrawn from the race for FIFA’s presidency after failing to get the required support of five member nations. The Frenchman revealed in a letter that he had the support of three nations, but believed that his lack of support came from member countries’ fear of “reprisals” against them.
“The reasons were numerous,” Champagne said of his lack of support. “Because they feared reprisals from their confederations having issued ‘recommendations’. Because their federations were candidates to host continental competitions. Because they relied too heavily on the financial support. Because they were committed to defend a united continental front.
“The institutions have mobilized to eliminate the only independent candidate. The latest events orchestrated in secret with barely veiled intentions by one of them, distributing letters of support between candidates, made me lose sponsorships especially in Europe! The hidden agenda – or not so hidden after all – is clear: under the guise of reforming FIFA lies the objective of further weakening it in favor of continental structures.”
Blatter, who is seeking his fifth term, is currently set to be opposed by Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein of Jordan, the Dutch FA president Michael van Praag and Portuguese legend Luís Figo.
Here are some more news and notes to kick off your Monday morning:
VELA TO MISS EXTENDED PERIOD AFTER UNDERGOING SURGERY
Carlos Vela’s is looking at a lengthy stay on the sidelines after suffering an injury Saturday.
The Real Sociedad winger is set to undergo surgery, the club announced Monday, after suffering a torn meniscus in Saturday’s 4-1 loss to Real Madrid. Vela is expected to miss a period of at least six weeks.
“During the match held in Madrid, he suffered an injury to his right knee,” Real Sociedad said in a statement. “After early tests, labs and an MRI, we have found evidence of a torn meniscus. After consulting with specialists to evaluate the best therapy options, we have decided on surgery.”
“Carlos will be operated on today by Dr. Mikel Sanchez. Once the surgery is complete we will issue a new medical statement.”
DROGA EXPECTS TO REMAIN AT CHELSEA NEXT SEASON
Didier Drogba expects to remain a Chelsea player for at least one more season.
The Chelsea forward’s one-year deal is set to expire at the conclusion of this season, but Drogba says that he expects to return to Stamford Bridge despite competition from fellow forwards Diego Costa and Loic Remy.
“Next season I’ll still be a Chelsea player,” Drogba said. “Of course, I would like to play more but I am not unhappy. Loic played another great match.”
Drogba has scored six goals for Chelsea this season, but has made only three Premier League starts.
Juventus have officially sealed the return of Allessandro Matri on loan. (REPORT)
Harry Kane has signed a new deal with Tottenham that will keep the forward with the club until 2020. (REPORT)
Crystal Palace has agreed to a permanent deal to acquire Wilfried Zaha from Manchester United. (REPORT)
FIFA have opened a disciplinary case against West Ham and Diafra Sakho after the forward played for the club after turning down a call-up to Senegal’s African Cup of Nations squad due to injury. (REPORT)
Who do you see as favorite to win the race for FIFA’s presidency? How do you expect Vela to perform through the remainder of 2015? What do you expect from Drogba in the coming years?
Share your thoughts below.