An eccentric Russian politician who is the president of the World Chess Federation and claims to have visited an alien spaceship is thinking about running for Fifa president. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said he was considering a bid to replace Sepp Blatter after Russian Chess Federation president Andrei Filatov encouraged him to go for the job. “The suggestion has been made but I haven’t made a decision yet on whether I’ll stand,” the 53-year-old Ilyumzhinov said in comments reported by Russia’s R-Sport news agency. “For myself, I haven’t decided anything about this issue yet.” Ilyumzhinov, who has been president of chess body FIDE since 1995, has Russian government connections and also links to soccer after running a now-defunct Russian club. He also has a reputation for eccentricity and claimed to have visited an alien spaceship during his time as leader of the Russian region of Kalmykia from 1993-2010, during which time opponents accused him of corruption and human rights abuses. Fifa will elect a new president on Feb. 26 and Ilyumzhinov would need to be nominated by five member federations and show he had a role in soccer for two of the last five years. The club he headed and funded, Uralan Elista, collapsed in 2004. As president of the chess federation, Ilyumzhinov’s rivals have accused him and his associates of manipulating voters during the last two re-election campaigns. Ilyumzhinov has repeatedly staged major chess events in Kalmykia in southern Russia, an arid, poverty-stricken region that is home to the Kalmyk people, who are traditionally Buddhist and speak a Mongolian language. As well as saying he has met aliens, Ilyumzhinov previously said he uses hypnosis in daily communication and consults clairvoyants in his business affairs.