Sunday 25 February 2018
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Blatter’s successor: FIFA holds election Friday

Five candidates are standing for elections to succeed Sepp Blatter as the next FIFA president. 207 delegates from around the world have gathered in Zurich, Switzerland to undertake the exercise.

The five candidates are Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, Gianni Infantino, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, Tokyo Sexwale and Jerome Champagne.

The election process is expected to begin at 12:00 GMT, but several rounds of voting may be required before a winner is known.

Given everything that has happened to Fifa, this is seen as a pivotal moment for an organisation which has been heavily criticised for its lack of transparency and for failing to clamp down on corruption within it.

In charge of world football’s governing body since 1998, Blatter, 79, said last year he was standing down amid a growing corruption crisis.

A new leader, together with a raft of reform measures, is seen as a chance to start afresh.

Acting president Issa Hayatou said Friday can “signal a new dawn”, adding: “This is our opportunity to show we are united in building a stronger Fifa.”

Front runner

Sheikh Salman is the front runner because he has the backing of his own Asian confederation, as well as Africa.
The continents do not vote as a block and the ballot is held in secret.

But such political backing from two of the biggest confederations should not be underestimated and may not be hard to deny.|

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