Vega weighs up return to Fifa presidential fray

Former Swiss international footballer Ramon Vega has said he is considering launching a campaign to run against Gianni Infantino for the presidency of the sport’s world governing body, Fifa.

The 47-year-old, capped 23 times by Switzerland, has forged a successful business career following his retirement from the game and is no stranger to the Fifa presidency. Vega had considered running in the 2015 election which saw Sepp Blatter re-elected.

Blatter ultimately resigned in disgrace months later, with Infantino elected to fill the remainder of his fifth term in February 2016. Infantino has already received backing for re-election from the likes of the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol), Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and Oceania Football Confederation (OFC). He had been expected to run unopposed at the June 5 vote in Paris, but Vega has now said he is considering entering the fray.

He told German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung: “Because of the great response and the positive reactions that I have from many sides I take this task seriously and see if there is any need in the football world to bring about the election of the next Fifa president in June by means of a democratic election campaign. In modern football, and especially because of the ongoing debates in world football, such electoral processes are becoming increasingly important.”

Fifa has set a deadline of February 5 for presidential rivals to confirm their candidacy. Potential opponents need to gather backing from at least five national associations and the Süddeutsche Zeitung added that Vega expects two or three pledges of support from Asia. The newspaper said he is also in contact with European bodies, including the German Football Association (DFB).

DFB media director Ralf Köttker told the Süddeutsche Zeitung: “Ramon Vega has informed the DFB about his intention to run for the office of Fifa president. DFB president Reinhard Grindel will be in Rome next week with his colleagues from the Executive Committee to discuss the situation in Fifa.”