Brazil legend Zico considering FIFA presidential election bid
SAO PAULO -- Brazilian soccer great Zico says he is considering running for the FIFA presidency, soon to be vacant after the announcement by Sepp Blatter earlier Tuesday he will step down later this year amid a corruption scandal.
The 62-year-old Zico, who is currently the coach of Indian club Goa, wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday that he gave some thought to the possibility and saw no reason not to consider becoming a candidate.
"Why not?" he said. "My life has always been with football. It's a passion that I've always treated with seriousness and with respect in Brazil and other countries."
Zico, who acted as Brazil's sports minister in the early 1990s, played for Brazil in three World Cups and is considered the greatest player of Brazil's most popular club, Flamengo.
"I think football comes before politics," he said. "I don't have support yet, but if it's open (to anyone), I can become a candidate. It's still an idea. Who knows?"
Zico, who said he has the support of his wife and children, is not likely to be considered a major player in the elections right away.
The favorite to replace Blatter will be 59-year-old Michel Platini, the former France captain and the president of European football's governing body since 2007.
Platini decided not to take on former ally Blatter in last week's election. Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, who ran against Blatter, hinted Tuesday he may have another shot at the presidency.
Zico helped lead the transformation of domestic football in Japan, where he played with Kashima Antlers until retiring in 1994. He later coached Kashima, as well as Japan's national team. He was Japan coach at the 2006 World Cup, where the team didn't make it past the group stage.
Zico also played for Udinese in Italy in the early 1980s and coached Fenerbahce in Turkey, CSKA Moscow in Russia and Olympiakos in Greece, among other teams. He was briefly head of Iraq's national team from 2011-2012.
At a hastily arranged announcement on Tuesday, Blatter admitted that he had lost too much support to remain in office after the corruption investigation unveiled by U.S. authorities last week, which led to the arrests of seven officials in Zurich ahead of FIFA's congress.