The race for the FIFA presidency has now started and the organization has accepted seven men. The candidates will look to replace Sepp Blatter, who has been in the position since 1998 and was recently re-elected for a fifth term.
Michel Platini’s candidature was accepted but it is pending because of his 90 day suspension from football.
FIFA published the list just hours ago. It did not include former Trinidad and Tobago player David Nakhid, who was left out after one of his backers broke election rules by showing support for another candidate.
The seven candidates will race for FIFA’s presidency and one will be selected February 26. FIFA’s three-man election panel will decide in a few weeks which of the seven candidates have been officially accepted. Four of the candidates will soon meet with the Confederation of African Football.
Platini was scheduled to make visits before the suspension was handed to him. The UEFA president was accepted but that doesn’t mean he is completely in. He was recently suspended after an investigation revealed that he had received a payment from Blatter for work he did as an adviser years ago. The payment was never registered and has raised questions from investigators. Platini and Blatter were given a 90 day suspension, but they could be extended if investigators find other things.
Suspension and Scandal
FIFA released a statement saying that Michel Platini’s candidature will not be processed by the ad-hoc electoral committee as long as the ban is there. Platini was seen as the favorite before he was questioned by Swiss federal police two months ago. According to investigators, a $2 million payment was made to the UEFA president four years ago. But the work had been done nine years earlier, which raised doubts right away.
Blatter has said many times that he has done nothing wrong and is appealing against the suspension. Blatter announced months ago that he would leave the position next year. His decision came after the arrests of top FIFA officials and accusations surfacing about bribes and payments made for World Cup votes.
Nakhid was not really a big name coming into the contest but knows a lot about the sport since he played as a midfielder for Trinidad and Tobago and several clubs. His absence means that Michel Platini is the only former player to run for president.
Michel Platini’s best chance is to wait for his suspension to be over and then see if his candidature is given the thumbs up.
One of the seven candidates, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, lost to Blatter in the elections earlier this year, but he announced he would run for presidency again. He could end up getting more support this time around if Platini is left out.
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