Sepp Blatter: Who can save Fifa with president to stand down?

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Sepp Blatter resigns as Fifa president saying new elections will be held soon

Sepp Blatter's resignation as Fifa president leaves world football's governing body in chaos, as it continues to deal with the corruption allegations that brought an end to his 17-year-reign.

Blatter, 79, stepped down on Tuesday, four days after being re-elected.

He plans to carry on his duties until a replacement can be chosen.

Here, BBC Sport looks at who is in the running to take over Fifa's top job.

Fifa candidates

Michel Platini

Michel Platini
Platini decided not to run against Blatter but may stand now the Swiss is stepping down

French football legend turned Uefa president Michel Platini is the best known of the potential runners.

The 59-year-old decided last year not to stand against Blatter but did not rule out an attempt in 2019 - when the next presidential vote would have been.

The three-time Ballon d'Or winner established his administrative credentials as organiser of the 1998 World Cup and has headed European football's governing body since 2007.

Platini had urged Blatter to quit following the arrests in Switzerland and said a "big majority" of European associations would back his rival Prince Ali at the election.

After Blatter announced he would be stepping down, Platini praised him for making a "difficult" and "brave" decision, but is yet to signal his intentions.

BBC Radio 5 live sports news correspondent Richard Conway's verdict: He has long coveted the job but has eyes on 2019. Likely to sit this one out. 3/10

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein

Prince Ali
Prince Ali was the only alternative candidate to Blatter in the Fifa presidential election on Friday

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan stood against Blatter in last Friday's Fifa election. His withdrawal, after forcing a second round of voting, handed victory to the Swiss.

The 39-year-old, a member of Jordan's royal family, was backed by a majority of European nations, including England.

Prince Ali had said he decided to stand because "the message I heard, over and over, was that it is time for a change". Speaking after the vote, he thanked those who had been "brave enough to support" him.

The Jordanian Football Federation president had been Fifa's youngest vice-president and the youngest member of its executive committee, but since the vote has lost both those positions.

Prince Ali, who was educated at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, is the son of the late King Hussein and the late Queen Alia, who died in a helicopter crash in 1977.

Conway's verdict: He has support in Europe and elsewhere around the world. The compromise candidate? 7/10

Chung Mong-joon

Chung Mong-joon
Chung was a fierce critic of Blatter during his time as a Fifa vice-president

A former Fifa vice-president, South Korean Chung Mong-joon says he will "carefully consider" running for the presidency.

The 61-year-old is part of the family which founded and owns Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd, one of the largest corporations in the world.

Chung was a fierce critic of Blatter during his time with Fifa, and told a news conference in Seoul on Wednesday that he would meet with European delegates before making his decision.

In 2002, Chung ran for president in South Korea, and was instrumental in bringing the World Cup to his native country in the same year. He remains one of Asia's most influential football figures.

Conway's verdict: A long time critic of Blatter but would be a long shot. 4/10

Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa

Sheikh Salman
Sheikh Salman headed a taskforce set up to organise the timing of the 2022 Qatar World Cup

Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa has been president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) since 2013 and was re-elected unopposed in April.

A member of Bahrain's royal family, the 49-year-old also sits on Fifa's executive committee and headed a taskforce set up to organise the dates of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The majority of AFC member nations backed Blatter in the presidential elections, and Sheikh Salman would likely be able to call on similar support if he decided to stand.

His candidacy depends on the intentions of fellow influential figures with the AFC, including Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah of Kuwait.

Conway's verdict: Head of Asian confederation and an ambitious man. One to watch. 7/10

More on this story:
Fifa corruption claims - key questions answered
One of sport's most dramatic falls
Sepp Blatter profile
Resignation speech in full
Reaction from the footballing world

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah

Sheikh Ahmad
Sheikh Ahmad was president of the Kuwait Olympic Committee from 1990 to 2001

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah is head of the Olympic Council of Asia and has just become a member of Fifa's executive committee, replacing Prince Ali.

If the 51-year-old Kuwaiti national were to stand he, too, would expect to receive backing from most Asian and African federations, the majority of whom supported Blatter.

It is unlikely that both he and Sheikh Salman would stand for election, as that could create a possible split in votes against a European-backed candidate, and each would benefit from the other's public backing.

Conway's verdict: He has just joined Fifa exco but enormously influential in Asian sport. If he doesn't stand he could still be the kingmaker. 7/10

Michael van Praag

Michael van Praag
Former Ajax chairman Van Praag had said it was "impossible" for Fifa to continue with Blatter as president

Dutch Football Association president Michael van Praag was a candidate for this year's vote but pulled out to support Prince Ali. The 66-year-old is yet to announce whether he will stand again.

It is unlikely that Van Praag, a member of Uefa's executive committee and a former chairman of Ajax, would receive much support from federations outside of Europe.

When announcing his withdrawal, Van Praag said it was "impossible" for Fifa to progress with Blatter as president. When putting himself forward as a candidate, the Dutchman had said it was "high time that the organisation comes back into the real world".

Conway's verdict: He ran a dignified campaign and stood up to Blatter several times. Still has the appetite to run again. 5/10

Luis Figo

Former Real and Barca winger Figo is yet to confirm whether he will stand again

Former Real Madrid, Barcelona and Portugal winger Luis Figo also withdrew his candidacy so as not to attract votes away from Prince Ali.

The 42-year-old welcomed Blatter's resignation and called for "a new era of dynamism, transparency and democracy", but has not yet confirmed whether he will be standing again.

Instead, Figo has said it is important to have "a time of reflection", adding: "It is not the right moment to say if I am going to be a candidate again or not. We have to wait because it is a very important moment for the organisation and for the future of football."

Conway's verdict: He stood aside last month to back Ali. Currently undecided whether to run. 3/10

More on this story:
Reaction: Twitter responds to resignation
How Fifa makes and spends its money
Mountain goats to tight shorts: Blatter in quotes

Jerome Champagne

Jerome Champagne
Champagne says he was "shocked" by Blatter's resignation and is "excluding nothing" at this stage

Former Fifa deputy general secretary Jerome Champagne, who tried and failed to make it onto the Fifa presidential ballot paper, said he was "shocked, stunned and flabbergasted" by Blatter's resignation and the corruption allegations centred on the organisation.

The 56-year-old Frenchman, who secured the backing of only three of the five national football associations required to stand, says it is too early to decide whether to run again but is "excluding nothing" at this stage.

Former diplomat Champagne, 56, worked closely with Blatter during 11 years as a Fifa executive before leaving in 2010.

Conway's verdict: Football's philosopher. Former diplomat and former Fifa insider. Didn't make ballot in May. Remains undecided. 4/10


Zico coached Japan at the 2006 World Cup in Germany and has also worked in Turkey, Russia and Greece

Former Brazil international Zico says he will stand in the next Fifa presidential election, and that his candidacy "will be a reaction to everything that we have seen".

"I believe that now the race is open to everybody," the 62-year-old told the BBC. "Everybody knows me and the way I work. I'm not only known for my work in Brazil."

Zico - full name Arthur Antunes Coimbra - is one of his country's most celebrated sportsmen and was best known for his creative flair and vision on the pitch during a playing career that ran from 1971 to 1994.

He coached Japan in the 2006 World Cup and has also managed Turkish club Fenerbahce, CSKA Moscow of Russia and Olympiacos in Greece.

Conway's verdict: Brazilian legend who became a coach - but no real background in football politics. Many will feel this is not the time for a novice. 1/10

David Gill

David Gill
Gill had rejected a position as Fifa vice-president but is now expected to take up the role

Running for the Fifa presidency would most likely be a step too far for former Manchester United chief executive David Gill, who now is expected take up a position as vice-president following Blatter's resignation.

Gill had rejected the executive committee role after the Swiss was re-elected because of the "damaging events" of the week preceding the vote.

But the 57-year-old has since pronounced himself "more than willing to play my part in helping to bring about a positive future for Fifa".

Conway's verdict: Unlikely to run. 0/10

David Ginola

David Ginola
Ginola did not win a single nomination ahead of this year's race but has already stated his desire to run again

Former Newcastle and Tottenham winger David Ginola has already stated his desire to run again, despite not winning a single nomination when he attempted to stand in this year's race.

The 48-year-old said: "Fifa has lost the trust of the people and of football. It's time to restore the faith of those who love the game and the trust they have in the people who run football."

Ginola's campaign received £250,000 backing from a leading bookmaker.

Conway's verdict: He ran a much criticised campaign in conjunction with an online bookie and was paid to stand. Wonderful footballer, flawed politician. 1/10

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