Zurich: FIFA’s executive committee reconfirmed today that they will hold the election for a new president to replace Sepp Blatter next February.
In a statement, world football’s governing body confirmed an extraordinary elective congress will be held in Zurich on February 26, 2016, when there will be a vote for a new president.
It means potential candidates have until Monday to register their interest in running for the most powerful job in football to replace Blatter, 79, who has been in charge since 1998.
Football’s governing body has been in chaos since October 9 when the ethics committee suspended both current president Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini for 90 days due to an ongoing investigation.
Prince Ali bin al Hussein, who lost to Blatter in May’s election, and former Trinidad and Tobago captain David Nakhid have officially stated their intention to run, as has Platini.
But the executive committee confirmed Platini’s bid will not be considered as long as he is suspended.
Chairman of the FIFA Electoral Committee, Domenico Scala, explained “presidential candidacies submitted in due time and form, but which relate to candidates who are subject to a (provisional or definite) ban from taking part in any football-related activity, will not be processed …. as long as such ban is valid and in force.”
Both former Switzerland defenders Ramon Vega and Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim al Khalifa, president of the Asian Football Confederation, say they are considering running for FIFA’s presidency.
Platini, the UEFA president, was considered the favourite to replace Blatter until his suspension.
His chances nosedived as neither he nor Blatter can explain an irregular payment of two million Swiss francs ( 2 million, 1.8 million euros) made in 2011 for advisory work the Frenchman did for FIFA from 1998 to 2002.
The executive committee also welcomed preliminary reform proposals to set an age restriction of 74 years and a 12-year maximum tenure for the FIFA presidency.