The World football governing body, FIFA, has officially released the names of candidates who will contest the presidency of the body in the February 26 election.
With the likes of Nigeria’s Segun Odegbmi and ex-Abia Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, falling by the way side, only seven candidates will be jostling to replace erstwhile president, Sepp Blatter, who is being investigated for corruption.
Blatter has been at the helm of affairs for 17 years and a breath of fresh air is now knocking at the door especially with the list of presidential candidates now confirmed.
Those in the race to become the world’s number one football citizen are Prince Ali, Musa Bility, Jerome Champagne, Gianni Infantino, Michel Platini, Sheikh Salman and Tokyo Sexwale.
Former Trinidad and Tobago international, David Nakhid, signalled his intention to run for the presidency on Monday, but failed to receive the required backing from five member associations, those familiar with the matter said.
On his part, UEFA president,Platini, emains in the race, but FIFA will only consider the Frenchman’s bid if his current suspension is lifted before the election takes place.
A statement from FIFA reads: “FIFA’s member associations have proposed, in due time and form, seven candidates for the presidential election to take place at the Extraordinary FIFA Congress in Zurich on February 26, 2016.
“Given that Michel Platini is currently provisionally banned from taking part in any football-related activity, his candidature will not be processed by the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee as long as such ban is valid and in force.
“Should such a ban be lifted or expire before the FIFA presidential election, the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee would decide, depending on the respective exact point in time, on how to proceed with the candidature concerned.”
Blatter is alleged to have given Platini a “disloyal” £1.3m payment in 2011.