Former Swiss international Ramon Vega has emerged as a possible challenger to Gianni Infantino for the FIFA Presidency at this year’s election in Paris.
The election holds at the 69th FIFA Congress in Paris, France on June 5 this year.
Vega, 47-year-old footballer turned financier, who won 23 caps for Switzerland, is reportedly weighing up a bid for the top job at world football’s governing body and is assessing the likelihood of securing the required five nominations before the February 5 deadline.
Infantino, elected in 2016 to serve the remainder of Sepp Blatter’s term after his Swiss counterpart resigned amid the corruption scandal, was widely expected to run unopposed.
But reports suggested this week that a former player with extensive experience in the finance sector was considering challenging Infantino.
Vega, who played for clubs in Switzerland, Italy, England, Scotland and France during his career, seemingly fit the description as he is the founder and chief executive of London-based company Vega Swiss Asset Management.
He confirmed to Süddeutsche Zeitung, one of Germany’s largest daily newspapers, that he was mulling over whether to stand against Infantino.
Candidates must receive nominations from five different Member Associations within FIFA’s 211-strong electorate before next Tuesday (February 5) to be eligible to run.
The election is scheduled to take place at the FIFA Congress in Paris on June 5 before the start of the Women’s World Cup.
“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,” Vega told Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Vega previously considered standing for FIFA President in 2016 but his candidacy never came to fruition.
Should Vega be a contender this time around, his chances of victory appear slim as Infantino is the red-hot favourite for re-election.
Infantino has already been given the backing of the Oceania Football Confederation and the South American Football Confederation in his bid to seal a full four-year term at the helm of the governing body.
The 48-year-old former UEFA general secretary is also thought to have a considerable stranglehold in Africa.
His radical plans for a revamp of the football calendar, including changes to the Club World Cup and the creation of a global Nations League, have irked some of Europe’s members, however.
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin has been at the forefront of the opposition to the proposals and threatened to lead a walkout of officials from European football’s governing body at a fractious FIFA Council meeting in October if the issue was put to a vote.
Infantino’s conduct as FIFA President was again called into question late last year after information obtained by the hacking group Football Leaks allegedly showed he had directly influenced changes to the FIFA ethics code.