Why the SFA supports Michael van Praag's nomination for FIFA presidency
By Bryan Swanson, Chief News Reporter
Last Updated: 28/01/15 3:46pm
The Scottish Football Association has raised the stakes in the hostile relationship between UEFA and world football’s governing body by supporting Michael van Praag’s nomination to stand for FIFA presidency, writes Sky Sports Chief News Reporter Bryan Swanson
The message is loud and clear - anyone but Blatter.
But the SFA’s nomination is about much more than cheap point-scoring against a perceived pantomime villain.
The Dutch FA president has known Campbell Ogilvie, the SFA president, for more than 20 years.
“I believe he is the right candidate at the right time to restore harmony to the game.” says Ogilvie. “We believe Michael has the experience, integrity and gravitas required to expedite the modernisation of world football’s governing body.”
The SFA’s nomination has the full approval of UEFA president Michel Platini, but European football’s governing body is not institutionally endorsing any candidate at this stage.
The SFA has forged strong ties with UEFA and, in September last year, Glasgow was chosen to host three group games and a round of 16 match in the 2020 European Championships.
Ogilvie is standing for election onto UEFA’s all-powerful Executive Committee and goes head-to-head with Trefor Lloyd Hughes, the president of the Football Association of Wales.
We agreed to support Mr Blatter in 2011 on the proviso this would be his last term in office and the Scottish FA continues to hold that belief.
UEFA’s election will take place in Vienna on March 24.
The SFA’s public stance against Blatter could make for some awkward conversations when Ogilvie and SFA chief executive Stewart Regan meet the FIFA president, and the game’s other lawmakers, at the annual International Football Association Board (IFAB) meeting at the end of February in Belfast.
“We agreed to support Mr Blatter in 2011 on the proviso this would be his last term in office and the Scottish FA continues to hold that belief.” says Ogilvie.
The Football Association can also expect a frosty reaction from Blatter after they formally approve Prince Ali of Jordan’s nomination for candidacy at an FA board meeting on Thursday.
The FA’s relationship with Prince Ali developed after an IFAB meeting at Surrey’s Pennyhill Park, in 2012, when they backed his campaign to allow players to wear headscarves.
The FA will not necessarily vote for Prince Ali but, along with the SFA, both British associations want to generate a credible debate about FIFA.
Privately, senior figures in the game expect Blatter to receive more than the required number of votes, 105 out of 209, to secure re-election for a fifth term in office.
FIFA’s presidential election is in Zurich on May 29.