Wolfgang Niersbach, the head of the German Football Association, has emerged as a candidate to succeed the controversial Joseph “Sepp” Blatter as president of Fifa, world soccer’s governing body.
The former sports journalist, who has sat on Fifa’s executive committee since March, has spent the past few weeks fending off speculation that he is planning to run for the top job.
At a meeting of Uefa, the European Football Association, in Prague earlier this month, he had his hands full dodging questions from inquisitive reporters.
“So what about you as the new Fifa president?” asked one of the journalists, fueling speculation of a German at the helm of the world’s largest sports organization, which has been gripped by corruption scandals in the past few months.
Mr. Niersbach replied with a counter-question. “Would you have confidence in me?” he asked. “Or put another way, would you have confidence that I would be confident in myself?”
Then he flashed his trademark smile, as he so often does.
He has reason to smile, as even if he doesn’t land the Fifa presidency, he may still secure the top job at Uefa.
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