Figo Launches Campaign Manifesto, Moves For Expanded World Cup

Fifa presidential candidate, Luis Figo, will consider a bigger World Cup, sin-bins and offside law changes, if elected in May.

The Ex-Portugal international proposes expanding the world showpiece possibly to 40 or 48 teams, while also suggesting Fifa could stage two 24-team tournaments simultaneously on two continents followed by a knockout phase in one nation.

The 2001 Fifa Player of the Year was speaking at the launch of his presidential campaign manifesto on Thursday at Wembley Stadium. He is seeking to unseat Sepp Blatter, who is vying for a fifth four-year term tenure. Fifa vice-president Prince Ali bin al-Hussein and Dutch football association chief, Michael van Praag, are also candidates.

Figo Launched His Campaign Manifesto at Wembley Stadium on Thursday. Image: Getty.
Figo Launched His Campaign Manifesto at Wembley Stadium on Thursday. Image: Getty.

The 42-year-old also plans to spread half of Fifa’s $2.25bn revenue over four years to associations to fund grassroots football. He said $1bn of Fifa’s $1.5bn wealth reserves should be redistributed to the 209 affiliate national federation.

Figo’s economic plans could appeal to smaller nations in Fifa, which are part of the 209 members eligible to vote in the May 29 congress in Zurich.

”There are obstacles that will have to be overcome,’’ he said through a translator. ”This image we are aware of this organization that leads football is not the appropriate image. I trust that most of (the national associations) want change and are ready for change, a democratic change, a change so that we achieve transparency and a change that goes back to football itself.”

Incumbent, Blatter, has already won the support of federations of Africa, Asia, South America and Oceania.

The ex-Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan winger yet retains hopes voters will be convinced to back him to repair the football ruling body, which has faced several allegations of corruption in recent times.

He also advocates for trials for “sin-bins,” a rule- (also known as the penalty box) in Rugby and ice hockey- which makes player sits to serve the time of a given punishment, for an offense not severe enough to merit outright expulsion from a match.

He wants revision to the old offside rule where a player is penalized regardless of whether they are directly involved in play.

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