Former Japan manager Zico considers running for FIFA presidency

Kyodo

Former Brazil international and former Japan national team coach Zico is considering running for president of FIFA following the shock resignation of Sepp Blatter on Tuesday.

“Why not? My life was always in football. A passion exercised with seriousness and respect in Brazil and other countries,” Zico said in a post on his Facebook page.

“I was the minister of sports. I put soccer before politics. I have no support yet, but if it’s open I can I apply to FIFA. It is still an idea . . . Who knows?”

Blatter announced at a hastily called press conference Tuesday that he will stand down as the head of soccer’s world governing body, just days after he was re-elected to the post amid a widespread corruption scandal.

Zico won 72 caps for Brazil, scoring 52 goals, and played in the World Cup in 1978, 1982 and 1986.

He coached the Japan national team for four years, winning the 2004 Asian Cup and qualifying for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where Japan finished last in Group F.

One of the pioneers of modern professional football in Japan, his experience of the country extends back to 1991, when he joined Kashima Antlers (then Sumitomo) and went on to become one of the star players of the newly formed J. League.