Football: South African Sexwale to run for Fifa presidency

Sexwale (above) is the fifth candidate seeking to replace outgoing Fifa president Sepp Blatter in the Feb 26 election.
Sexwale (above) is the fifth candidate seeking to replace outgoing Fifa president Sepp Blatter in the Feb 26 election. AFP

JOHANNESBURG (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.

Sexwale, who confirmed his candidacy two days before the deadline for registrations, 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 on Twitter that it fully supported Sexwale's bid.

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 a Fifa ethics investigation into a two million Swiss francs (S$2.8 million) payment by soccer's ruling body to the former France midfielder in 2011.

The suspensions of Blatter and Platini earlier this month were the latest twists in Fifa's worst crisis in its 111-year history.

Swiss authorities are also investigating the decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively while the US Department of Justice has indicted 14 soccer officials and sports marketing executives on a series of corruption charges.