Former footballer David Ginola’s much publicised Paddy Power-backed challenge for the FIFA presidency could be in trouble following the publication late last week of a FIFA advisory on ethics.
FIFA issued the election guide ahead of next Thursday’s deadline for candidate applications, emphasising that official candidates are bound by its ethics code. That includes a provision which unequivocally asserts:
“Persons bound by this code shall be forbidden from taking part in, either directly or indirectly, or otherwise being associated with betting or gambling.”
Adding to Ginola’s woes is the fact that Paddy Power, which committed to GBP 250,000 of the estimated GBP 2.3 million needed for his campaign, has since announced that they will not be contributing financially beyond January 27 (the deadline).
The gambling group has also assured football fans who made donations to Ginola’s campaign: ‘In case David doesn’t make it through, we will look to fully reimburse fans who have donated to the campaign.’
The donations are being chanelled through a new Paddy Power company titled Rebooting Football Limited, the website for which had previously advised that donations were not refundable, and observers have pointed out that the FIFA ethics regulations also forbid active or passive stakes in companies or organisations that promote gambling.
As far as is known, Ginola has yet to obtain the support of at least five football associations, a requirement before a presidential challenge will be accepted, and finally he appears to lack the necessary two years of senior governance experience also required by FIFA regulations.