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FIFA's February elections to go ahead as planned

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By Euronews
FIFA's February elections to go ahead as planned

World football’s governing body FIFA says its presidential elections will go ahead as planned for February 26 of next year.

There had been calls for the elections to be postponed following the provisional 90-day suspensions for incumbent Sepp Blatter and presidential hopeful Michel Platini amid corruption allegations.

The decision to keep the election date was confirmed at an extraordinary meeting of the executive committee held at the body’s headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.

The FIFA road for Blatter has been long and spattered with controversy.

Blatter, who has been in office since 1998, was re-elected in May for a fifth term, but a few days later announced he would step down as FIFA fell deeper into corruption chaos.

The Swiss immediately called for a special election to choose his successor.

Platini’s presidential hopes fading

UEFA president Platini had been the front runner to succeed 79-year-old Blatter, until his suspension.

It now appears his chances have grown even slimmer.

As well as confirming the election date, FIFA also announced on Tuesday that it will not allow Platini to stand in the presidential election while his ban from football-related activity remains in force.

The Former France international captain denies any wrongdoing and is awaiting the verdict of the FIFA appeals committee after challenging his suspension.

He was provisionally suspended for 90 days, along with Blatter and FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke, on October 8.

The ban can also be extended by a further 45 days, taking it up until just six days before the FIFA presidential election is due.

The suspensions are related to an investigation into 1.8 million euro payment Platini received in 2011 for consultancy work for Blatter nine years earlier.

Blatter is also being investigated for a 2005 agreement for World Cup television rights that FIFA sold to Concacaf president Jack Warner for a price seen as well below market value.

Mr. Warner later resold the rights for a significant profit.

A new contender

Meanwhile Shaikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain is expected to throw his hat into the election ring

The 49-year-old Asian Football Confederation president recently said senior figures in the game have urged him to stand.

He has yet to make his candidature official.