Six of the eight FIFA presidential candidates have banded together to assure the public that they are, in fact, real people.
Since announcing their candidacy for the office that current FIFA president Sepp Blatter is scheduled to vacate in February 2016, Jerome Champagne, Tokyo Sexwale, Prince Ali bin Hussein, Sheikh Salman, David Nakhid, and Musa Bility have been the subjects of dismissive jokes about their names. But at a joint press conference, they asserted their legitimacy as both candidates and actual human beings with names that were not dreamed up by children making prank phone calls.
“We are serious men and we all want serious change at FIFA,” Champagne said. “I can tell you with absolute certainty that my name is not the alias a hedge fund manager uses when checking into a hotel with his mistress. Prince Ali is not the character from the animated Disney film ‘Aladdin,’ nor is Sheikh Salman a villain from an episode of ‘SpongeBob SquarePants.’ David Nakhid does not have a brother named ‘Buck Nakhid.’ Musa Bility is not a misheard lyric from the Sonic Youth song ‘Kissability’ and Tokyo Sexwale is not the product of a wacky internet name generator. We are real people and these are our real names! Please stop laughing at us!”
In addition to the six men present at the press conference, the full list of eight candidates also includes suspended UEFA president Michel Platini and UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino — a man described as being “too boring to bribe” by one FIFA insider.
“Have you ever seen him at those Champions League draws?” said the source. “The way he rambles on and on about the rules that everyone already knows and always has a crap joke or anecdote for everything and constantly switches languages from sentence to sentence — he’s like that all the time. It’s infuriating. There’s a lot of money in FIFA, but no one thinks it would be worth it if it means having to be in the same room as him.”
Back at the “real candidates with real names” press conference, Tokyo Sexwale insisted that having an amusing names should not impeded anyone path to football’s highest office.
“People talk about our names, but look at the current president,” he said. “A name that sounds fictional is practically a prerequisite to be FIFA president.”