Sexwale to stand for FIFA presidency

Sat Oct 24, 2015 4:43pm EDT
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By Simon Evans and Brian Homewood

(Reuters) - South African businessman and former political prisoner Tokyo Sexwale is to run for the presidency of world soccer's governing body FIFA, a spokesman said on Saturday as the deadline for nominations neared.

Sexwale is the fifth candidate to declare that he will bid to replace the outgoing Sepp Blatter in the Feb. 26 election.

"He is South Africa's candidate and we hope he will be all of Africa's candidate," spokesman Peter Paul Ngwenya told Reuters.

The South African Football Association (SAFA) said it fully supported Sexwale's bid.

Prospective candidates must submit their paperwork to FIFA, including nominations from five football associations, by Monday and they then face an integrity check from the organisation's Ethics group before being cleared to run.

Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, former Trinidad and Tobago midfielder David Nakhid, ex-FIFA official Jerome Champagne and Michel Platini, president of European soccer's ruling body UEFA, also say they have submitted nominations.

Platini's chances are slim because he is currently suspended, along with Swiss Blatter, pending an FIFA ethics investigation into a two million Swiss francs ($2.04 million) payment by soccer's ruling body to the former France midfielder in 2011.

The president of the Asian Football Confederation Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain is also considering a bid and canvassed opinion among Asian federations last week.   Continued...

Tokyo Sexwale, chairman of the FIFA monitoring committee Israel and Palestine, speaks during a news conference in Tel Aviv, Israel October 2, 2015. REUTERS/Nir Elias