Former FIFA vice president Chung Mong-joon speaks during an interview with Reuters in Seoul, South Korea, July 30, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
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A towering figure in Asian football and smooth operator in diplomatic circles, South Korea's Chung Mong-joon will need to sharpen his political elbows if he is to survive the vicious twists and turns of the upcoming FIFA presidential race.Chung faces a huge task to beat UEFA chief Michel Platini in the race to replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA president, but he has the deep pockets and international diplomatic skills necessary to sustain the challenge over the next seven months.He was instrumental in bringing the 2002 World Cup to South Korea when it won co-hosting rights with Japan.Under his 17-year watch as head of the Korea Football Association, South Korea soared up the world rankings, with Chung helping turn an annual budget from $3 million to about $100 million.
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