A combination of file pictures shows (from top left) Gianni Infantino, Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, Jerome Champagne, Musa Bility, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, Tokyo Sexwale, and Michel Platini. The seven are official candidates for the FIFA presidency.


Football's world-governing body FIFA on Wednesday announced that it had confirmed seven candidates to run in its election for a new president on February 26.

The candidates proposed are Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, Musa Bility, Jerome Champagne, Gianni Infantino, Michel Platini, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa and Tokyo Sexwale.

There was no mention of former Trinidad and Tobago footballer David Nakhid, who announced last week that he had submitted his candidacy.

FIFA said in a press release that, with the exception of UEFA chief Michel Platini, the candidature dossiers would be processed by its electoral committee.

Platini is currently suspended from all football-related activities for 90 days as part of a clampdown on corruption and fraud at the heart of the FIFA operation.

"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 statement read.

FIFA said that the six other candidate 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 chamber will "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."

The next step will see the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee review the results of the integrity checks before formally declaring which candidates can stand for the FIFA presidency.

The election next February comes as FIFA is engulfed in a massive corruption probe that has resulted in 90-day bans on Platini and the organisation's long-standing president Sepp Blatter who is standing down.

Those suspensions run out on January 5.

Blatter says Russia will not lose 2018 World Cup

Sepp Blatter said on Wednesday that Russia will not lose its right to host the 2018 soccer World Cup, Russian news agency Tass reported.

"It's ruled out," Blatter told the agency in an interview. "Russia will not lose the World Cup."

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