FIFA approves five presidential candidates

FIFA said on Thursday it had admitted five candidates for its presidential election, scheduled for February amid the worst crisis in its history, after Liberia’s Musa Bility failed an integrity check and Michel Platini was also sidelined.

UEFA president Platini, originally the favorite to succeed Sepp Blatter as head of global soccer’s governing body, was not admitted because he is suspended for 90 days pending a full Ethics Committee investigation.

FIFA had already announced that it would not process the Frenchman’s registration while he was suspended, but could review its position if he wins an appeal against the ban.

FIFA has been thrown into turmoil by the U.S. indictments of 14 soccer officials and sports marketing executives for alleged corruption.

Blatter, also suspended for 90 days, is facing criminal investigation in Switzerland.

FIFA said the five candidates admitted were Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain, former FIFA official Jerome Champagne of France, UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino of Switzerland and South Africa’s Tokyo Sexwale.

“The integrity check included a review of corporate records, litigation cases, bankruptcy proceedings, potential regulatory actions taken against the candidate and a review of media reports concerning potential red flags (fraudulent behavior, match manipulation, human rights violations, etc.),” said FIFA.

Bility was not admitted “in view of the content of the integrity check report relating to him.”

Salman has dismissed as “false, nasty lies” allegations that he was involved in human rights abuses during his time as Bahrain Football Association head.

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