(ATR) The power to determine the future of world football now resides with the 209 Member Associations that make up FIFA.
On Friday, Feb. 26, the MAs will gather in Zurich, Switzerland at FIFA headquarters for an extraordinary congress that will not only determine the next president of FIFA, but also decide if the proposed reform package will be passed. By the end of the week, the direction of football could take a drastic change that many hope will be for the better.
Five candidates are vying to replace outgoing Sepp Blatter as the head of FIFA. Sheikh Salman of Bahrain, UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino, Prince Ali of Jordan, Jerome Champagne and Tokyo Sexwale all believe they have what it takes to end the corruption scandals that have plagued the federation for decades.
Blatter and Platini Await Appeal Verdict
Outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter and former UEFA chief Michel Platini will hear the decision of the FIFA appeals committee this week before the FIFA extraordinary congress on the 26th.
Each received an eight-year bans at the hands of the FIFA ethics committee in December for violating four articles of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
The appeals committee headed by Bermuda Football Association president Larry Mussenden could decide to uphold, reduce or increase the suspensions, but the committee is expected to uphold the ruling.
If the suspension is upheld, Blatter and Platini would not be allowed to attend the FIFA congress on Friday that will elect Blatter's successor.
Blatter and Platini are likely to take their appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). A CAS spokesperson tells Around the Rings each must do so within 21-days of receiving the appeals committee decision.
CONCACAF to Vote on Reforms
The regional football confederation for North and Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF) will vote on its own reform package on Thursday, Feb. 25, one day prior to the FIFA extraordinary congress.
The leaders of the 41 MAs of CONCACAF will be in Zurich prior to the election and are expected to pass its reforms, although discussion on some items is expected to take place ATR is told.
"I think we’re still talking about a few things. One of the main concerns is independent directors on the CONCACAF Council or executive committee, but I think the general view is that we need these reforms to pass," legal counsel to CONCACAF Samir Gandhi tells ATR.
Registration Deadline for WADA Symposium
Media members wishing to attend the WADA Symposium for Anti-Doping Organizations must do so by the end of Monday, Feb. 22.
The 2016 edition of the Symposium for Anti-Doping Organizations will take place Mar. 14-16 at the Palais de Beaulieu in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The symposium brings together International Federations, National and Regional Anti-Doping Organizations, major event organizers, WADA-accredited laboratories and other key stakeholders that are integral to the clean sport movement.
Media may only attend the first day of the symposium on Monday, Mar. 14. Click here to register.
IPC Powerlifting World Cup
The 2016 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Powerlifting World Cup heads to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from Feb. 24-28.
The tournament is organized by the Malaysian Powerlifting Association for the Disabled and will be live-streamed on the IPC website.
Competition will take place from Feb. 24-27 and the closing ceremony will be held on Feb. 28 at the Grand Season Hotel.
Written by Kevin Nutley
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