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SPORTS UPDATE

Former Celtic Treble-winner Set To Face Infantino For FIFA Presidency

Former Celtic treble-winner, Ramon Vega has announced his bid to contest the next FIFA presidential election.

The 23-cap Swiss international has previously attempted to run for election, but failed to secure the necessary backing in both 2015 and 2019.

However, it now seems that the ex-defender, who was part of Martin O’Neill’s treble-winning squad in 2000-01, has secured the required backing from at least five football associations to contest the election against the incumbent president, his fellow countryman Gianni Infantino.

“We officially would like to say thank you to all the Football Associations who have given me the opportunity and endorsed me to run for the next Fifa Elections in 2023, special thanks to my team and of course to my wife and my future First Lady Claudia.” He wrote on Twitter.

The next election will take place at the 73rd FIFA congress, which is due to take place on the 16th of March 2023 in Kigali Rwanda, as confirmed on FIFA’s website.

Infantino has been FIFA president since his initial election in 2016, and was re-elected in 2019, with his challengers having to submit their bids to stand against the 52-year-old no later than four months prior to the next Congress.

Vega won’t be first former player to make a bid for the presidency, Portugal legend Luis Figo famously ran for the position in 2015, eventually pulling out and heavily criticising the election process before a corruption scandal that eventually prematurely ended the term of Infantino’s predecessor Sepp Blatter, as The Guardian reported at the time.

Though Vega made 26 appearances for Martin O’Neill’s all-conquering side in the Irishman’s first season in charge of Celtic, he’s most-remembered outside of Glasgow for his five-year spell at Tottenham Hotspur, helping the Lilywhites to the League Cup in season 19998-99.

Vega also played in a 1-1 against England for his county at the 1996 Euros, whilst a Grasshoppers player.

Since retiring, he’s attempted several business ventures across different industries, and whilst fronting a Swiss consortium, attempted unsuccessfully to purchase Portsmouth FC in 2009.

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