A poll of more than 35,000 football fans in 30 countries released before the election to pick the next president of FIFA, world football’s governing body, showed that four out of five fans do not think Sepp Blatter should stand for the post and 69.2 per cent said they had no confidence in FIFA.
The poll was to assess how the effects of corruption and poor governance at FIFA is perceived by fans who will have no say in the vote. Only the representatives of the 209 football federations that make up FIFA are eligible to vote on 29 May in Zurich.
When the poll was launched last week there were four candidates in the race for president, including Luis Figo, the former Portuguese international, who was the fan favourite winning 59.1 per cent of the votes. Figo has since dropped out of the race along with Michael van Praag, the head of Dutch football, leaving Blatter facing Prince Ali bin al-Hussein. A quarter of the voters picked none of the above as their choice.
The questions in the poll were prepared by Transparency International, the global anti-corruption movement and Football Addicts, the Swedish developer behind the popular Forza Football app, which allows fans’ voices to be heard collectively through real-time, in-app questions on key issues.
In 2010 FIFA controversially chose Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup. In this poll, fans picked Australia (39.1 per cent) over the USA (37.8 per cent), Japan (10.8 per cent), South Korea 10.1 per cent) and Qatar (2.2 per cent). These countries vied for hosting rights in the original bidding process.
There were regional differences in the vote. Not surprisingly, Qataris were most favourable to FIFA and its president with a third supporting Blatter for a fifth term and 60 per cent saying they had confidence in FIFA. Chileans were 100 per cent against Blatter and 88 per cent against FIFA.
Deborah Unger, of Transparency International said: “The corruption and scandals associated with FIFA have so damaged its reputation that fans have no confidence in the organisation. That is sending a strong message to the small elite controlling FIFA that it must clean up its act. It is the fans who pay for and support football and make FIFA one of the most powerful organisations on the planet. They deserve better.”
Patrik Arnesson, the 29 year old co-founder of Gothenburg-based Football Addicts, adds: “It is precisely for moments in history like this that we need a collective voice for international football fans. By conducting this poll, we have highlighted the stark difference between how the football community around the world feels and the decisions that are being made by FIFA. This contrast highlights a huge democratic flaw in footballing society, and we sincerely hope that it is an issue next President will address.”
Following FIFA World Cup corruption scandals, should Sepp Blatter be standing again for President of FIFA?
Do you have confidence in FIFA?
Who would you pick to run FIFA?
|Sepp Blatter||2.2 per cent|
|Luis Figo||59.1 per cent|
|Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein||5.3 per cent|
|Michael van Praag||8.7 per cent|
|None of the above||24.6 per cent|
Which country should host the 2022 World Cup?
|Australia||39.1 per cent|
|USA||37.8 per cent|
|Japan||10.8 per cent|
|South Korea||10.1 per cent|
|Qatar||2.2 per cent|
Based on votes from 35,000 fans in 30 countries, polled on the Football Forza app from May 20-24, 2015.
Forza Football, an app from Football Addicts, gives fans a free, influential platform for their opinions and ideas, alongside updates, live scores and statistics for the 560 most popular leagues and cups around the world. It is a fully international platform, with over 2.7 million monthly users worldwide.
Transparency International is the global movement fighting corruption with more than 100 chapters around the world. The secretariat is based in Berlin.
Editor's note: For more information on how each country voted please contact Football Addicts or Transparency International.
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