Four of the seven Fifa presidential hopefuls visit Caf

The Confederation of African Football logo
The Confederation of African Football

Four of the seven candidates eyeing the Fifa presidency in February's elections have visited the Confederation of African Football (Caf) at its headquarters in Cairo this week.

Africa is the largest voting bloc of Fifa's six regional confederations, with 54 members out of the 209 affiliated to football's world body.

"The Executive Committee received and listened, between 25 and 28 October, four declared candidates for election to the presidency of Fifa," Caf said in a statement.

"These include Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, Gianni Infantino and Tokyo Sexwale."

South Africa's Sexwale - who arrived in Cairo on Tuesday - is one of two African candidates to be on the list to replace long-standing president Sepp Blatter when elections are held at Fifa's headquarters in Zurich on 26 February.

The former Robben Island inmate is a current Fifa anti-racism adviser who has promised to 'shake things up' during his campaign.

The other African is Liberian FA president Musa Bility, who Caf refused to back in August, with the 48-year-old saying this was because Africa's football body wanted to keep its options open until all candidates were known.

Now that they are, candidates are flocking to the Egyptian capital to seek support from the continent - with Prince Ali meeting Caf officials on both Monday and Tuesday.

Earlier this year, Caf President Issa Hayatou pledged that the entirety of Africa would support Blatter as the Swiss fought for re-election.

The 79-year-old won May's election but stepped down days later as Fifa faced corruption probes by both American and Swiss authorities.

After Blatter was suspended amidst a corruption investigation earlier this month, Hayatou - as the most senior Fifa vice-president - assumed the role of Acting Fifa President.

Who are the Fifa candidates?

  • Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, 39, is president of the Jordan Football Association
  • Musa Bility, 48, is president of the Liberian Football Association
  • Jerome Champagne, 57, is a former Fifa executive
  • Gianni Infantino, 45, is Uefa's general secretary
  • Michel Platini, 60, is Uefa president and Fifa vice-president
  • Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, 49, is Asian Football Confederation president
  • Tokyo Sexwale, 62, is a South African former government minister

From its statement, Caf may well back one candidate ahead of next year's elections.

"After discussions with these different personalities, the Caf Executive Committee unanimously decided to let the administrative procedures for registration of candidates follow their course, while allowing plenty of time to decide (on its preferred candidate) - primarily taking into account the interests of the continent," the statement read.

The deadline for candidates to submit their applications - together with letters of support from five football associations - was at 2300 GMT on Monday.

In full, the following seven were revealed to have applied successfully: Uefa chief Michel Platini, former Blatter adviser Jerome Champagne, as well as Prince Ali, Bility, Infantino, Sheikh Salman and Sexwale.

Platini is also currently suspended by Fifa but its electoral committee says it may allow him to stand if his ban ends before the election date.

Trinidadian ex-footballer David Nakhid was not included on the Fifa list, despite saying he had submitted his candidacy.

Top Stories