Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Champagne meal turns sour amid FIFA battle

29 January 2016, 19:30

Paris - French FIFA candidate Jerome Champagne went to a chic Paris restaurant seeking the support of his country's football federation and left with profanities ringing in his ear.

Champagne told AFP that he was "insulted" in a meeting with French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet who told him he would be backing UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino for the FIFA presidency in a February 26 vote.

Champagne, a former FIFA deputy secretary general and one of five candidates for the FIFA presidency, said he would protest Le Graet's decision not to even let him speak to the FFF executive.

Also read: ‘Sacked three times’ Van Gaal faces Friday fright night

In response, Le Graet called him a "little man", used another expletive, threw down the money for the meal and then walked out, according to Le Parisien newspaper, whose account was confirmed by other football sources.

"I was insulted," Champagne told AFP, also confirming the media reports.

Le Graet, a frequently outspoken character, would not comment on the meeting.

During a meeting of France's Professional Football League, where Le Graet represents the national federation, some officials said that Champagne should be heard.

If elected FIFA president, Champagne would be an automatic member of the International Olympic Committee and so could vote for Paris to get the 2024 Olympics, Le Parisien said some LFP members reasoned.

Le Graet was reported to have responded: "I don't give a damn about the Olympics."

On Friday, Le Graet publically endorsed Infantino.

"Gianni has all the necessary qualities to be a success," the FFF declared in a statement.

"He has the experience, the talent, the work ethic and the convictions, all of which he's displayed as secretary general of UEFA alongside Michel Platini."

Champagne is considered an outsider in the FIFA race in which he is up against Infantino, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al Khalifa, head of the Asian confederation, Tokyo Sexwale of South Africa and Prince Ali bin al Hussein, a former FIFA vice president from Jordan.

Sheikh Salman and Infantino, who secured the support of the South American confederation on Thursday, are considered the frontrunners.



Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...