Fifa to elect president Sepp Blatter's successor on 26 February

Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter
Michel Platini (left) is one of the contenders to replace Sepp Blatter (right)

World football's governing body Fifa has confirmed it will hold the election for its next president at a special congress on 26 February.

The election will determine who will succeed Sepp Blatter, who has been president since 1998.

Blatter, 79, and vice-president Michel Platini have both been suspended for 90 days amid corruption allegations, which both men deny.

Platini is seeking the next presidency, as is Prince Ali bin al-Hussein.

Frenchman Platini, president of European football's governing body Uefa, submitted his candidacy papers earlier this month, but Fifa says it cannot recognise his candidacy while his ban is in place and he cannot campaign.

However, Fifa's electoral committee says it may allow him to stand if his suspension ends before the election date.

Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain is expected to contest the election. Former Trinidad and Tobago midfielder David Nakhid said he will stand, while ex-Tottenham defender Ramon Vega is considering doing likewise.

South Korean Chung Mong-joon, another confirmed candidate, claimed his campaign has been "sabotaged" by a six-year ban from Fifa's ethics committee. On Tuesday, the 64-year-old's bid to lift the ban was rejected a Zurich district court.

Swiss Blatter is under criminal investigation over claims he made a £1.35m payment to Platini in 2011, as well as allegations he signed a contract "unfavourable" to Fifa.

Richard Conway, Radio 5 live sports news correspondent
"Michel Platini is still fighting to save his candidacy and is determined that he will make the election on 26 February. However, the Football Association has suspended its support and others in Europe are unsure of his political longevity.
"The search is on for somebody to step in as Uefa's preferred candidate. That could be a European: Ramon Vega and Dutch FA president Michael van Praag have been mentioned as potential names.
"However, Uefa may look outside its borders, and with Shaikh Salman having backed Michel Platini earlier this year, it will be interesting to see if that support is reciprocated."

Proposed Fifa changes

Fifa's reform committee also made a number of recommendations for the governing body to make changes to "improve efficiency, prevent fraud and conflicts of interest and increase transparency in the organisation".

A 12-person panel, chaired by former International Olympic Committee director general Francois Carrard, including officials from the six continental confederations, proposed:

  • A maximum term of 12 years for the Fifa president
  • An age limit of 74 for the president
  • Transparency on pay for the president and senior Fifa figures
  • Renaming Fifa's executive committee to Fifa Council
  • Increasing separation of the political and management functions within Fifa
  • A review of the number and composition of standing committees
  • A greater recognition of the role and promotion of women in football

More recommendations will be added before being put to the executive committee in December 2015 prior to Fifa's members approving any changes in February 2016.

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