Published On: Sun, Nov 15th, 2015

Who’s The FIFA Favourite ?

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World football’s governing body will elect a new president on Feb. 26, 2016. So who among the five-man shortlist of candidates is the most likely to replace Sepp Blatter as Fifa president?

Tokyo Sexwale

62, South Africa

> Former anti-apartheid activist, imprisoned on Robben Island alongside Nelson Mandela > Not strongly associated with any Fifa camp > Interests in the mining and energy sectors > Confident of winning the backing of all 54 members of the Confederation for African Football (CAF) > Worked on Fifa's anti-discrimination committee > Mediated for Fifa in the dispute between the Israeli & Palestinian federations > Served on the organising committee for South Africa's 2010 World Cup

> Former anti-apartheid activist, imprisoned on Robben Island alongside Nelson Mandela
> Not strongly associated with any Fifa camp
> Interests in the mining and energy sectors
> Confident of winning the backing of all 54 members of the Confederation for African Football (CAF)
> Worked on Fifa’s anti-discrimination committee
> Mediated for Fifa in the dispute between the Israeli & Palestinian federations
> Served on the organising committee for South Africa’s 2010 World Cup

Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa

49, Bahrain

> President of the Asian Football Confederation since 2013 > Former Blatter ally > Confident of securing votes from the 46 federations of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and a few European nations > Candidacy criticised by human rights groups—he allegedly headed a committee that identified Bahraini athletes involved in pro-democracy demonstrations in 2011, many of whom were later imprisoned and tortured

> President of the Asian Football Confederation since 2013
> Former Blatter ally
> Confident of securing votes from the 46 federations of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and a few European nations
> Candidacy criticised by human rights groups—he allegedly headed a committee that identified Bahraini athletes involved in pro-democracy demonstrations in 2011, many of whom were later imprisoned and tortured

Gianni Infantino

45, Switzerland

> Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) general secretary > Michel Platini's right-hand man > Qualified lawyer > Been with the UEFA since 2000 > Knows the European game inside and out, which may count against him while wooing nations beyond the continent > Could be well-received by South America's CONMEBOL confederation and CONCACAF, which represents North, Central American and Caribbean federations

> Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) general secretary
> Michel Platini’s right-hand man
> Qualified lawyer
> Been with the UEFA since 2000
> Knows the European game inside and out, which may count against him while wooing nations beyond the continent
> Could be well-received by South America’s CONMEBOL confederation and CONCACAF, which represents North, Central American and Caribbean federations

Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein

39, Jordan

> Lost to Blatter in the Fifa president election this May > Asia and Africa not publicly backing him > Former Fifa executive committee member > Ex-AFC vice-president

> Lost to Blatter in the Fifa president election this May
> Asia and Africa not publicly backing him
> Former Fifa executive committee member
> Ex-AFC vice-president

Jerome Champagne

57, France

> Former Fifa deputy general secretary > Manifesto includes reducing number of World Cup places for European nations, more development projects in poorer nations and greater transparency in Fifa > Ex-French diplomat > Campaigned in Fifa presidential elections in May but did not get the backing of five national associations > May struggle to find support from beyond Europe

> Former Fifa deputy general secretary
> Manifesto includes reducing number of World Cup places for European nations, more development projects in poorer nations and greater transparency in Fifa
> Ex-French diplomat
> Campaigned in Fifa presidential elections in May but did not get the backing of five national associations
> May struggle to find support from beyond Europe

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology

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