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Odegbami enters Fifa presidency race

Former Nigeria national team footballer Segun Odegbami has announced that he intends to run for the Fifa presidency.

Odegbami, 63, is the second African to enter the running, following Liberia’s Musa Bility. Fifa has set a deadline of October 26 for applications for the presidency, and five nominations from national associations are required per person. The final election will take place on February 26, 2016.

“Africa must play a big role in world football,” Odegbami told BBC Sport. “The current scandal at Fifa is the organisation's worst crisis in its 111 years of existence. Moving forward, Fifa thus requires a new era of leadership that can restore the dignity of the noble sport.

“The world is very interested in who becomes the next president of Fifa, considering the present images and state of this institution,” he added. “I see myself fitting into this role.”

Odegbami said that his leadership would have the “highest sense of responsibility, integrity, transparency, probity and accountability” and added that he would like to establish a “new and optimistic future for football that focuses on human, infrastructural, social and community development across the world.”

He said: “The choice of an African, specifically a Nigerian, may look far-fetched in this pursuit, noting the international coverage of Fifa and the historical trend in its leadership reputation. However, a closer scrutiny of the international football environment reveals the real possibility of such change.”

After retiring as a player, Odegbami became an author, journalist and football commentator. “Football is what my entire life has revolved around,” he said. “My life's ambition has always been to use football to make a difference in my local space and across the world.”

Meanwhile Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke approached at least one regional confederation and a national association to gauge the support he would receive for a possible tilt at the presidency, BBC Sport added. Valcke has also held talks with several Fifa officials, the report added, although it is not known whether he will pursue a bid.