NEWSMAKER-Soccer-Deep pockets and diplomacy, Korean Chung set for FIFA race

jueves 30 de julio de 2015 06:20 GYT

By Peter Rutherford

SEOUL, July 30 (Reuters) - A towering figure in Asian football and smooth operator in diplomatic circles, South Korea's Chung Mong-joon will need to sharpen his political elbows if he is to survive the vicious twists and turns of the upcoming FIFA presidential race.

The sixth son of Hyundai conglomerate founder Chung Ju-young and the main shareholder in the world's biggest shipbuilder, Hyundai Heavy Industries, the 63-year-old told Reuters on Thursday he was the man to clean up the sport's governing body and give FIFA back its identity.

Chung faces a huge task to beat UEFA chief Michel Platini in the race to replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA president, but he has the deep pockets and international diplomatic skills necessary to sustain the challenge over the next seven months.

A FIFA vice president for 17 years, and fierce critic of Blatter for much of that time, Chung lost his seat on FIFA's powerful executive committee in 2011 when he was beaten by then-Blatter ally Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan.

Chung, who has an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion according to Forbes, will need to have his wits about him to ensure he is not outmanoeuvred again by his rivals.


A seven-term lawmaker in South Korea, Chung was the first in his family to gain entry to South Korea's elite Seoul National University. He gained further qualifications from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Johns Hopkins University in the United States.   Continuación...