Liberia FA chief Musa Bility running for FIFA president
LONDON -- The president of the Liberia Football Association is seeking the FIFA presidency, saying Africa should take the lead rebuilding world football's governing body as it reels from criminal investigations.
Musa Bility is the second candidate to emerge since Sepp Blatter announced on June 2 -- four days after being re-elected to a fifth term -- that he would step down amid the corruption scandal rocking FIFA.
Former Brazil star Zico has already declared his interest in running in the election, which is expected to be held between December and February. Candidates must be nominated by at least five of the 209 FIFA member associations to get on the ballot.
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"Africa is the largest voting bloc in FIFA [with 54 members], and we must take the lead to bring football together," Bility said in an interview with the BBC announcing his candidacy.
"If Africa does not put up a candidate, it says a lot about us. It shows a sense of mediocrity, and that our only relevance is to vote and make leaders. I think that is not right."
Bility would be the first African candidate for FIFA's top job since Confederation of African Football President Issa Hayatou lost to Blatter in 2002.
"We all agree in the world that football is facing a difficult moment, and it is in difficult moments that great leaders emerge," Bility said.
The 67-year-old Bility has run the Liberian FA since 2010, and was re-elected for a second four-year term in 2014.
"People know me to be bold, upright, outspoken, and highly opinionated," said Bility, who is president of Liberia's Srimex oil and gas company. "I say it like it is. When it's not right, I don't back down, and that has gained me some respect."