Finally Van Praag to challenge Blatter for Fifa presidency

The president of the Dutch FA Michael van Praag has announced he will challenge Sepp Blatter for the Fifa presidency.

Candidates are required to win the support of five national associations if they wish to launch a bid, and Van Praag appears to have already secured sufficient backing.

On Sunday Blatter claimed members within Uefa lacked the courage to rival him, but he now faces another formidable opponent.

"Michael van Praag is a candidate to succeed Sepp Blatter as president of FIFA," read a statement from the Dutch FA on Monday.
"On Tuesday, Praag sends his official candidacy with the required five letters from associations who support his candidacy to FIFA headquarters in Zurich."
Van Praag added to Voetbal International: "I was hoping that a serious candidate would stand up to beat Blatter, but nobody stood up. So now I am taking that responsibility, also because of the fact that we from the Netherlands are one of the co-founders of the Fifa.
 
"I was considering this move for a long time. I spoke with a lot of people before I made my choice. I hope that my people from the Netherlands will help me to win the vote. On Wednesday I will declare my decision at a press conference."
Bert van Oostveen, boss of the Dutch football association, said: "It is clear that something needs to change in the organisation of Fifa. Michael is the right person. We will back him during his whole campaign."

There are now five candidates who have declared their intention to fight to become Fifa president, with Jerome Champagne, Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein, David Ginola and Mino Raiola confirming their intentions.

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