All you need to know about the FIFA presidential election
The end of an era is upon us as we enter a crucial moment in the future of world football as Fifa prepares to elect a new president to replace Sepp Blatter.
The 79-year-old was re-elected as the leader of world football’s governing body but just days later he announced he would surrender the throne at a Congress this year, meaning Fifa will gain a new chief for the first time since June 1998.
With Fifa wrapped in a massive corruption scandal, the newly elected president will be given the responsibility of leading the organisation through its darkest period and deliver mass reforms if its reputation is to be restored.
Ahead of this momentous occasion for the global game, Goal provides you with all the information you need to understand what is happening.
WHEN IS THE ELECTION?
The election will be held at the Hallenstadion in Fifa’s base city of Zurich, Switzerland, on Friday 26 February.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN?
Fifa’s delegates will cast their votes for who they think is the best candidate to succeed Blatter at the helm of the worldwide organisation.
Prince Ali bin Al Hussein – The man who lost out to Blatter in the last election, the 40-year-old is a former Fifa vice-president and has been vociferous in his demands for the Garcia report on the bidding process of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup to be published in full.
Jerome Champagne – A former deputy secretary general at Fifa, the Frenchman failed to gather enough nominations in the run in to the last election and has repeatedly spoken highly of Blatter. He has often called for greater transparency in Fifa, a cut in the number of World Cup spots allocated to European nations and wants to increase the number of Fifa member associations.
Gianni Infantino – The 45-year-old Swiss has been by Michel Platini’s side and opted to enter the race after the Uefa president was banned by Fifa’s Ethics Committee and ruled out of the race. The lawyer has proposed expanding the World Cup to 40 teams in his manifesto.
Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa – President of the Asian Football Confederation and a Fifa vice-president, the 50-year-old has been accused of human rights violations in Bahrain and hopes to see the role of president become a non-executive role.
Tokyo Sexwale – The South African politician, who became a billionaire through the oil and diamond industry, was part of the organising committee for the 2010 World Cup and faced accusations of accepting benefits during the process, which he denies. The 62-year-old has pledged to lift the ban on national teams having shirt sponsors.
HOW DOES THE VOTE WORK?
With Kuwait and Indonesia suspended, there will be only 207 votes cast at the election. In the first round of voting, all member associations will cast votes and a leader will be declared if a candidate gets two thirds of the vote. If no one is crowned the new president after the initial votes are cast, then a second round will be held, where 104 votes will be enough to secure the hot-seat.
WHO IS THE FAVOURITE?
Gianni Infantino and Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa are the heavy favourites for this one. Infantino has secured the majority of the European vote and is expected to do well with the South American vote. Meanwhile, Sheikh Salman has received the support of the Asian federations, while the outcome could be decided by the African votes.