PtG Article 23.10.2015

Two candidates for the FIFA presidency join Play the Game 2015

Shortly before Play the Game 2015 opens, two FIFA presidential hopefuls declare ready to join a debate on FIFA’s future.

Without offending any of the around 150 speakers that are preparing their presentations for next week’s Play the Game 2015 conference, it is fair to expect that two of them will be particularly careful preparing their messages.

It is not every day that you get a chance to run for the presidency of the world’s most popular sports activity, but this is the chance that David Nakhid from Trinidad & Tobago and Jérôme Champagne, a Frenchman living in Switzerland, have announced they will take. They will both try to replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA President at the election to be held at an extraordinary congress 26 February 2016.

Thursday the staff of David Nakhid confirmed that he will join the debate on FIFA’s future in a Play the Game event taking place at the old Elsinore Theatre in Aarhus and – since Elsinore was the hometown of Prince Hamlet – entitled “To be or not to be... a FIFA President”.

This debate takes place Monday 26 October which is also the FIFA’s deadline for submitting the papers and the support of five football nations required for the candidacy.

Expectations for that evening rose further when earlier today Friday a long confirmed speaker for this evening, Jérôme Champagne, came out and confirmed that he will give his ambitions of becoming FIFA President a second try.

The participants of Play the Game 2015 can expect an encounter between two personalities with a very different background. David Nakhid, 51, is a former professional football player who today runs the David Nakhid International Football School. His campaign homepage is under construction, but a short bio can be found here and an interview with Wired868 here. Nakhid has received early backing fromthe Caribbean Football Union (CFU).

Jérôme Champagne, 57, is a former French diplomat, and served for 11 years (1999-2010) as a Deputy Secretary General and International Adviser to President Sepp Blatter. He first launched a detailed programme for the development of FIFA at Play the Game 2011 in Cologne, and today his political platform is available at

The two candidates will join a debate with strong expertise and political will. The President of the Danish FA (DBU), Jesper Møller, will tell what he expects from the future FIFA President, and two of the most experienced investigative journalists will add their knowledge to the debate: Jonathan Calvert, Editor of the Insight Team at The Sunday Times, who has revealed FIFA scandals since 2010, and Jens Weinreich, journalist, author and blogger about FIFA’s secret life for the last twenty years.

Last, but not least, Jaimie Fuller, CEO of SKINS and co-founder of the successful #NewFIFANow campaign will add his viewpoints to the panel.

Other FIFA candidates have been invited previously. UEFA President Michel Platini declined the invitation due to a hectic schedule, before he was suspended by the FIFA Ethics Committee. Prince Ali from Jordan has not answered to our invitation.

Note: You can still join Play the Game 2015 and take part in the debates. However, due to fire restrictions we cannot guarantee access to the historic Elsinore Theatre where the debate between the FIFA candidates takes place. We have only a handful of available seats left, and priority is given to participants already registered for the conference. Extra attendees will be able to follow the live streaming from a neighbouring room.

Other main sessions from Play the Game 2015 will also be live streamed. More info on the conference programme at