FIFA powerbrokers to plot future in Monday meeting

Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:51am EDT
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By Brian Homewood

ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA's future will begin to take shape on Monday when its executive committee meets to choose a date for the presidential election and discuss proposed reforms to soccer's discredited governing body.

If they decide on a December election, it could spark a desperate scramble as presidential hopefuls would be left with less than one month to declare their candidacy and gather the written support of at least five federations.

FIFA has been in limbo since June 2, when president Sepp Blatter, having been re-elected for a fifth term only four days earlier, announced that he would lay down his mandate at an extraordinary FIFA Congress which will take place between December and February.

Blatter has repeatedly said that he will not stand again and, unless he backtracks as he did following a similar promise in 2011, FIFA will have its first new president since 1998.

Candidates must declare their intention to stand, and present support, four months before the election.

The race to replace Blatter is shrouded in mystery with all the potential frontrunners, such as UEFA president Michel Platini and previous contender Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan, keeping a low profile.

Frenchman Platini, in particular, has ducked out of public appearances at events such as UEFA's recent executive committee meeting in Prague, where he left his general secretary Gianni Infantino to face the media conference.

Once earmarked as Blatter's successor and now one of his most bitter critics, the moody Frenchman has made it clear over the past years that he would be reluctant to relinquish the presidency of UEFA.   Continued...

The logo of soccer's international governing body FIFA is seen on its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, May 27, 2015. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich