Who will be the next FIFA president?

FIFA have confirmed that seven men will stand in the FIFA presidential elections in February.

Eight applicants put their names forward, but former Trinidad and Tobago international David Nakhid's application was rejected by FIFA on the grounds that it did not fulfil the requirements.

As a result, one of Gianni Infantino, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, Jérôme Champagne, Musa Bility, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, Tokyo Sexwale, and Michel Platini will be the new FIFA president.

Musa Bility

Current position: President of the Liberian Football Association 

Previous positions: Ran Srimex Oil and Gas Enterprise, the largest importer of petroleum in Liberia.

Is he the right man for the job? Bility has the backing of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) despite having been banned for six months from all sporting activity by the organisation in 2013.

What he said: "If we are to change football, then we have to make sure that those have been running FIFA for the last 20-25 years have nothing to do with it."

Gianni Infantino

Just in case

Current Position: Has been UEFA general secretary since 2009

Previous positions: Joined UEFA in 2000 as a lawyer.

The right man for the job? Has the unanimous backing of UEFA's executive committee, and has a much cleaner image than many other candidates.

What he said: "[My manifesto] will be based on the need for reform and also for a FIFA that genuinely serves the interests of all 209 national associations, big or small, and that puts football and football development at the top of its agenda. If elected I would lead that change in partnership with all who want to see a FIFA worthy of governing the world's number one sport with dignity and respect."

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein

Just in case

Current Position: President of Jordan Football Association. Founder and president of the West Asian Football Federation.

Previous positions: Former FIFA vice-president.

The right man for the job? Despite being the champion of a number of good causes, including the lifting of FIFA's ban on the hijab, he lacks support.

What he said: “Ten months ago, I was the only person who dared to challenge Mr Blatter for the Presidency of FIFA. I ran because I believe that FIFA needs change. And I had the courage to fight for change when others were afraid."

Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa

Just in case

Current position: Asian Football Confederation president and FIFA vice-president

Previous position: A former head of the Bahrain Football Association.

The right man for the job? As a FIFA vice-president and with global support Sheikh Salman would be a very strong candidate if it was not for his alleged links to human rights violations in Bahrain.

What he said: "With the support I'm going to get we're going to turn it around very quick. We have big examples of football organisations around the world – the Premier League, the Bundesliga, even UEFA – who have, from a football side and a revenue side. And this is what we want to bring to FIFA."

Michel Platini

Just in case

Current position: UEFA president and FIFA vice-president

Previous positions: Played for and coached France. Was the co-president of the FIFA World Cup Organising Committee for six years, and vice-president of the French Football Federation. Has been a member of the FIFA executive committee since 2012.

The right man for the job? Despite currently serving a 90-day suspension, many consider Platini the favourite, and his experience certainly makes for a strong CV. May be viewed as being too involved in the tainted Blatter reign.

What he said: “I am, in all humility, the most able to run world football.” 

Tokyo Sexwale

Just in case

Current Position: Prominent South African businessman

Previous Positions: Anti-apartheid campaigner who was jailed on Robben Island, before later going on to become a government minister. A member of FIFA anti-discrimination task force.

The right man for the job? A shrewd businessman but his involvement in South Africa's 2010 World Cup bid team which has been the subject of allegations of bribery and corruption does not reflect well.

What he said: “Having spent time inside FIFA, I am more than ready to take on the world. I think it was a vote of confidence by people who I can only say understand who I am and what I will be able to bring to football. FIFA, the organisation of the beautiful game, is damaged. The brand is severely undermined.”

Jérôme Champagne

Current position: Football consultant

Previous position: Served as a French diplomat from 1983 to 1998, before working as an executive at FIFA from 1999 to 2010, including as an advisor to Sepp Blatter.

Is he the right man for the job? Has the necessary experience, but there are doubts regarding whether he has sufficient support.

What he said: "FIFA needs someone who understands the game and the world, who can relate to the various cultures of our planet, who can impulse the reforms and the energy to govern the game worldwide. Not necessarily a former player or coach."

Comments