FIFA have finally confirmed five candidates who could take over from Sepp Blatter as the president of world football’s premier organisation.
The five candidates are Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, Gianni Infantino, Tokyo Sexwale and Jerome Champagne, BBC has confirmed.
The presidency election has been initiated following Blatter’s decision to resign amid increasing corruption issues at FIFA. The voting will take place on February 26 in Zurich. Here is the official statement by FIFA.
UEFA president Michel Platini was the early favourite to succeed Blatter, but he was banned from football for eight years by FIFA’s ethics committee.
This is the first time Blatter’s not running for president since he got elected in 1998. Here’s a look at all the candidates.
Infantino oversees the draw for the Champions League, Europa League and European championship. He is the front-runner among the five selected members.
Current position: Uefa general secretary (since 2009)
Previous positions: Joined Uefa in 2000 as a lawyer and secretary general of the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) at the University of Neuchâtel
Sexwale is an anti-apartheid activist, who worked with Mandela and was also jailed for 13 years with him on Robben Island.
Nationality: South African
Current position: Mining tycoon
Previous positions: Anti-apartheid campaigner, former government minister, a member of Fifa anti-discrimination task force, South Africa Apprentice presenter. He contested the last election which Blatter won.
Prince Ali bin al-Hussein
Prince Ali was the man responsible for lifting Fifa’s ban of hijab’s in women’s football. Contested the last election, which he lost to Blatter.
Current position: President of Jordan Football Association and founder and president of the West Asian Football Federation.
Previous positions: Former Fifa vice-president
Champagne almost ran for election last time around but failed to gather enough support to assert his candidacy.
Current position: Consultant in international football
Previous position: He worked for Fifa for 11 years as an executive and an advisor to president Sepp Blatter, before quitting in 2010
Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa
Sheikh Salman is the second front runner in this election and will most likely compete with Mr Infantino directly. He openly shows his support for Manchester United and hunts wild boar during his pastime.
Current position: Asian Football Confederation president and FIFA vice-president
Previous position: Former head of Bahrain FA