South Korea's Chung considering FIFA presidency run

  • Football
  • Wednesday, 03 Jun 2015

SEOUL (Reuters) - Chung Mong-joon, the billionaire scion of South Korea's Hyundai conglomerate, says he will "carefully consider" running for the FIFA presidency, following Sepp Blatter's unexpected decision to resign as the head of world football's governing body.

Chung, a former member of FIFA's powerful Executive Committee and a fierce critic of Blatter, also told a news conference in Seoul on Wednesday he would meet other international football powerbrokers before making any decision.

Blatter's shock resignation, hours before it emerged he was under investigation by U.S. authorities, has prompted widespread calls for root-and-branch reforms at FIFA.

"I will carefully consider running for the FIFA presidency," Chung told reporters at the KFA headquarters. "I will make my decision after meeting with international football leaders and listening to their opinions."

An honorary FIFA vice president, Chung said the manner of Blatter's resignation was "disappointing and regrettable" and that the 79-year-old Swiss should not have a hand in choosing his successor.

"Blatter should not be involved in FIFA's election process or managing its funds," he added.

"The most shameful thing is that FIFA is unable to reform by itself."

The biggest shareholder in Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd and a one time South Korean presidential hopeful, Chung was instrumental in bringing the World Cup to South Korea in 2002 when it co-hosted the event with Japan.

Chung, the head of the Korea Football Association (KFA) from 1993 to 2009, was ousted from his role on the FIFA ExCo in 2011 as his opposition to Blatter grew.

The man who replaced Chung on the committee, Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, was Blatter's only challenger at the recent FIFA presidential election.

Chung said the scandals at FIFA were a result of a lack of transparency and that anyone who Blatter helped get a job at the body should not be allowed to run for president.

In addition to the investigation into FIFA finances, a separate probe is looking into the circumstances surrounding FIFA's decision to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.

South Korea had bid to host the 2022 World Cup but lost out to the tiny Gulf state.

(Writing by Peter Rutherford; Editing by Ossian Shine/Sudipto Ganguly/Justin Palmer)

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