FIFA needs a fresh start. In our perfect world the successor of Sepp Blatter would be someone completely disconnected from all the FIFA scandals – someone from the poker industry.
Sepp Blatter is stepping down (or is he?), and the FIFA will appoint someone new for his position who’s probably already also connected to shady deals and negotiations, money laundering, and bribery.
What a truly fresh start it would be if FIFA brought in someone who’s never had anything to do with the organization and how smart would it be to look at the poker community for a candidate — poker being an industry that combines all the features of commerce with true love for a game.
At PokerListings our international editors took a look at the best potential successors for Sepp Blatter from the poker world. Some are humorous while others are slightly less so.
Despite his youth Gerard Piqué would be one of the best successors for Joseph Blatter. Piqué has won more titles and trophies than most of players in the world.
Piqué is famous (same as Blatter) for being a bit of a big mouth but he is a successful businessman and has already declared that he wishes to be President of F.C. Barcelona.
His wife Shakira can help him to deal with all corruption in the South American Football Agency CONMEBOL as she is from Colombia and she has already good relations with FIFA, singing at the opening of the last two World Cups.
Piqué loves poker and he has played in the last two WSOPs.
-José Page, PokerListings Spain
One very “suitable” name for the job springs to mind: Ali Tekintamgac.
While not an expert at corruption per se, he has allegedly amassed a vast amount of experience in cheating, marking cards and exploiting others which should give him a good foundation for his FIFA career.
He even apparently cheated his way to a WPT title in 2010. Ali Tekintamgac as successor would certainly be in the spirit of Sepp.
One minor problem though: Ali's currently serving jail time (for his frauds at the poker table) and thus he won’t be available in the near future.
-Arved Klöhn, PokerOlymp
I would say that it would be someone like Luca Pagano.
Not only do his abilities as a poker player allow him to identify shadiness — and in FIFA there is certainly a fair amount of that — but during his career he has also developed a range of managerial skills which makes him perfect candidate for this role.
His success in leading his company Pagano Events is impressive. This man could quickly bring transparency and credibility to FIFA.
-Claudio Poggi, PokerListings Italy
Gus Hansen of course!
Not only is he very involved in sports and owns a squash club in Copenhagen but he also originates from the country with the least corruption in the world according to Transparency International.
Also it seems like The Great Dane has an unlimited bankroll, so Qatar and Russia can keep their oil money!
However we do hope he keeps Blatter’s ability to come up with absurd – but entertaining - suggestions for the development of football - how about a 2-7 version of football where it is all about scoring the lowest amount of goals?
-Thomas Hviid, PokerListings Denmark
I say we want someone from Europe but not from any of the largest member states, so they’re not suspected to favor national interests.
It should be someone who has reached an age that qualifies them as a serious businessman and he should possess both passion as well as psychological and tactical skills, in addition to nerves that don’t flinch in difficult situations.
The person who encompasses all these traits is Antanas Guoga, formerly known as Tony G. The former bad boy of poker has become a serious politician and would be a worthy representative of the FIFA.
-Dirk Oetzmann, PokerListings Europe
Let’s face it: We’re not living in that perfect world and no poker personality is going to be president of the FIFA. So don’t take every word you’ve read here too seriously. Some of our editors have chosen a rather light-hearted approach to the issue.
Did you like our top five of poker related people to follow in Sepp Blatter’s footsteps? Who would you want to be on the list?