PARIS • Fifa yesterday announced that it had confirmed seven candidates in its election for a new president on Feb 26.
They are Prince Ali Al-Hussein, Musa Bility, Jerome Champagne, Gianni Infantino, Michel Platini, Sheikh Salman Ebrahim Al-Khalifa and Tokyo Sexwale.
Former Trinidad and Tobago footballer David Nakhid submitted his candidacy last week. But it was rejected on the grounds that one of the five national football associations (the minimum required) he gave as endorsing him - the US Virgin Islands - had already backed another candidate.
The election comes as football's world governing body is engulfed in a massive corruption probe that has resulted in 90-day bans for Platini and long-standing president Sepp Blatter, who is standing down after 17 years in the position. Those suspensions run out on Jan 5.
Fifa said in a press statement that, with the exception of Uefa chief Platini, the candidature dossiers would be processed by its electoral committee.
"Should such a ban be lifted or expire before the Fifa presidential election, the ad hoc electoral committee would decide, depending on the respective exact point in time, on how to proceed with the candidature concerned," it said.
Fifa said that the six other candidates' dossiers had now been handed over by the electoral committee to the investigatory chamber of the independent ethics committee to carry out integrity checks.
The next step will see the ad hoc electoral committee review the results of the checks before formally declaring which candidates can stand.
Blatter told Russian news agency Tass yesterday that he blames Platini, England and the United States for igniting and escalating the corruption scandal engulfing Fifa.
"At the start it was only a personal attack, it was Platini against me, then it was no longer only Platini against me," said the 79-year-old Swiss.
"It was also those who had lost (hosting) the World Cups. England against Russia (the 2018 hosts), and the United States, who lost the (2022) World Cup to Qatar."
He said he, as boss of Fifa, and the World Cup had become pawns in a political game.