Former Manchester United chief executive David Gill announced on Tuesday that he has decided to stand for Britain’s FIFA vice-presidency when Northern Ireland’s Jim Boyce retires next May.

Gill, who is the Football Association’s vice-chairman and also sits on UEFA’s executive committee, had previously declared that he would not stand for the post, but he explained he had had a change of heart.

“This is a decision I have been thinking about for some time,” the 57-year-old said in a statement.

“Although I had initially wanted to focus on developing my relatively new role within UEFA, I believe there is an opportunity, if elected, to use the FIFA position to make a real difference while complementing that ongoing work.

“Having sounded out many people across the game, including fellow board members at Manchester United, the FA and UEFA, I would hope to make a positive contribution and use my candidacy to drive a debate for continued reform.”

An election will take place during the UEFA congress in Vienna in March, when all the members of European football‘s governing body will vote from a list of candidates put forward by the four British associations.

Britain’s role in the establishment of professionalfootball means that it is guaranteed one of the eight vice-presidency posts on the executive committee of world governing body FIFA.

Gill, who stepped down as United’s chief executive in 2013, is expected to face competition from Scottish FA president Campbell Ogilvie and Welsh FA president Trefor Lloyd Hughes. – Agence France-Presse

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