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FIFA presidential contender Jerome Champagne struggling to get nomination as deadline looms

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PARIS — FIFA presidential contender Jerome Champagne is struggling to get the support required to challenge Sepp Blatter.

With the deadline to present the bids only 10 days away, the Frenchman has sent an open letter to the presidents of FIFA's member associations asking for their backing.

Under FIFA's rules, Champagne must convince five of the 209 national associations to endorse his campaign.

Champagne, who was FIFA's international relations director until leaving in January 2010, said in a statement "the feeling exists that the final result of the election is set and that it would be risky to sign them. There is also the fear of being singled out or punished."

Champagne also described his rivals for football's top job — Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein and former France player David Ginola, as "individuals without a program."

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