Five key points from Luis Figo's Fifa presidency manifesto

 
Joe Hall
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Luis Figo wants to expand the World Cup and adjust the offside rule if elected. (Source: Getty)

Luis Figo has unveiled his plan to fix Fifa.

The former Real Madrid and Barcelona star is standing as a candidate to replace Sepp Blatter as Fifa president in this year's May election.

Football fans around the world are hoping for a fresh face in charge of football's governing body as Blatter's reign has become increasingly associated with allegations of corruption and cronyism.

Figo, who is also up against challengers Michael van Praag and Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein has now delivered his first in-depth indication of his goals for Fifa.

The Portuguese star encourages member associations to join him in "ensuring a new style of leadership at Fifa, one that places global football at the heart of everything it does and stands for."

But what would that actually look like? Here are the key takeaways from his manifesto:

Expand the World Cup

Figo says he would consider tinkering with the format of the World Cup if elected president. The 42-year-old has suggested expanding the tournament from 32 to either 40 or 48 teams.

If Figo were to take the second route, the World Cup could be split into two mini-tournaments, which could be played in two continents simultaneously ahead of a final knock-out stage held in a single country.

In both cases, additional teams would be weighted towards non-European nations.

My starting point in this debate is that by increasing the number of teams participating in the World Cup, we not only make sure that we include more countries from across the world in the greatest football competition in the world, but would also enable Fifa to significantly increase revenues that can be used to invest in the growth of the game globally.

Invest half of all Fifa revenues in youth football

Over a four-year period, Fifa should distribute $2.5bn (£1.62bn) - around half of its revenues - to its member associations to use to fund grass roots football.

Figo argues that "this is needed to help further strengthen the member associations and make sure they are ready to meet our common objective to develop football at the top level."

Here's how that cash would be distributed:

Increased use of technology

Figo says Fifa should embrace the use of goal-line technology and should commence a "real and structured debate" on the use of technology in football. The former Portugal international argues such steps are a necessity to ensure "football stays modern and adapts when the time is right."

Rule changes

The "triple punishment" system - whereby a player can be red carded, give away a penalty and suspended for a further three matches - would be discarded under Figo, although no suggestion of an alternative is provided.

Figo also proposes the introduction of sin-bins for unsporting behaviour towards the referee as well as reverting to the "old" offside rule which adjudges a player to be offside whether he is directly involved with play or not.

Redistribute Fifa's cash reserves

Fifa has $1.5bn of cash reserves which Figo argues is superfluous.

Instead of sitting on the money, Figo proposes to redistribute the cash to schools and youth football in order to help develop the game.

Only $500m is said to be needed to cover operational costs in the emergency situation of a World Cup being postponed.

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