FIFA’s executive committee member Hani Abou-Reida said on Friday he seeks to succeed Samir Zaher as the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) chairman.
Zaher is set to step down next year after spending two successive terms in office, during which Egypt won three consecutive African Cup of Nations titles in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
“I decided to run for EFA president when the spell of Mr. Zaher ends next year,” Abou-Reida, who resigned as the association’s vice-president earlier this month, said in a television interview.
“I have the right to climb the ladder to the highest positions. I feel that I can achieve success at the helm.
“Mr. Zaher is like my brother. I hope that he will end his reign with more success,” added Abou-Reida, a highly-respected sports figure in Egypt who presided over the country’s successful hosting of the 2006 Nations Cup and 2009 U-20 World Cup.
Zaher took credit for the huge success of the Egyptian national team during the past six years but was heavily criticized for the poor organization of domestic competitions.
He came under fire few months ago when the EFA decided to cancel Egyptian Premier League relegation, citing the adverse effects January’s revolution had on bottom teams. The competition consequently expanded to 19 teams.
Abou-Reida has been a member of FIFA’s powerful yet controversial 24-man executive committee since February 2009.
He voted for Qatar in their bid to become the 2022 World Cup hosts. The tiny Gulf country was eventually granted the right to stage the football’s most important event after beating off competition from Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States.