(WFI) Former FIFA president Joao Havelange expects Brazilian Football Confederation president Ricardo Teixeira to seek the FIFA presidency in five years time.
In an interview with the Brazilian sports daily, Lance, Havelange said he talked Teixeira out of running for the presidency next year and advised him that it would be best to wait until 2015, after Brazil have hosted the World Cup.
Havelange said he believed that Sepp Blatter would be re-elected as FIFA president next June. Blatter was Havelange’s right-hand man at FIFA and served as secretary general for many years.
Havelange, 94, was FIFA president between 1974 and 1998, and is credited with revolutionising the organisation, from a Euro-centric amateurish governing body to a multi-billion global powerhouse.
Teixeira is chairman of the 2014 World Cup organising committee as well as being head of the confederation (CBF). Havelange insisted a successful tournament would prove his credentials for the top job at FIFA.
“Ricardo is dedicated, has 30 years experience,” said Havelange. “He would be a good president having administered the CBF. I think that would be justice in 2015.
“With a well organised tournament, he will demonstrate the ability to organize to FIFA. It is the opportunity of being present on the world stage.”
Teixeira was married to Havelange’s daughter Lucia Havelange for nearly 30 years, and they have a son together. Although they divorced in 1997, Teixeira, who was considered the protégé of the former FIFA president, is believed to be still close to him.
In the Lance interview, Havelange also referred to the recent World Cup bid bribery revelations in the Sunday Times and his decades-old feud with the English FA.
In 1966, Havelange, as head of the Brazilian FA, pleaded conspiracy after his team were eliminated from the World Cup.
He also suggested that the English had never forgiven him for ousting Sir Stanley Rous as FIFA president in 1974.
“They are not satisfied unless they attack me,” he said of the British press.
Despite his age, Havelange is still regarded as a hugely important figure in world sport. His behind-the-scenes work for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic bid was considered to be a crucial factor behind the IOC’s decision to award the Games to the Brazilian city in Copenhagen last October.
With reporting by INSIDER’s James Corbett.
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