(ATR)FIFA has accepted seven candidatures for the presidential election, with former Trinidad & Tobago player David Nakhid a surprising omission.
They are: Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, Musa Hassan Bility, Jérôme Champagne, Gianni Infantino, Michel Platini, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Tokyo Sexwale.
Only yesterday, Nakhid was at the Play the Game conference in Aarhus, Denmark, sharing a stage with Champagne on a panel about FIFA, exuding confidence about his presidential bid.
The delay in confirming the candidates following the Monday 11pm deadline for submissions may have related to FIFA's difficulty processing Nakhid’s bid. He claimed to have the necessary five nominations from FIFA’s 209 federations. But it appears there may have been duplication of nominations, with Nakhid claiming he had support of a federation which was behind another candidate.
Of the seven, Platini’s bid is the most problematic as integrity checks get underway on the other six candidates over the next 10 days as part of the process. These will determine the eligible candidates for the election.
The UEFA president is currently serving a 90-day suspension pending a FIFA ethics probe into the "disloyal" $2.1 million payment he received in 2011 from FIFA for his work as an advisor to Sepp Blatter between 1998 and 2002. He denies wrongdoing and is appealing.
"Given that Michel Platini is currently provisionally banned from taking part in any football-related activity, his candidature will not be processed by the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee as long as such ban is valid and in force," FIFA said in its statement on Wednesday.
"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."
The seven candidature dossiers have now been passed on to investigatory arm of FIFA’s ethics department to carry out the integrity checks.
"The investigatory chamber will – as a result of this integrity check – deliver comprehensive documentation on each candidate, but it will not give any recommendation as to whether or not a candidate may run for the FIFA presidency," FIFA said.
The Ad-hoc Electoral Committee will evaluate the checks before deciding on the eligible candidates to stand for the presidency. The announcement is expected by Nov. 10.
Reported by Mark Bisson
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