FIFA has been rocked by scandal at a terrible time, just two days before the election for president is scheduled to take place.
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After nine officials were arrested in Switzerland on corruption and racketeering charges, FIFA said the presidential election will go on as planned this Friday.
Sepp Blatter, who has served as FIFA’s president since 1998, is expected to easily win reelection, which would send him into his fifth term as the leader of the world’s most powerful sports organization.
Blatter is going head-to-head with Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan for the presidency. Michael van Praag of the Netherlands and former Portugal legend Luis Figo pulled out of the running last week.
In the last election which took place in 2011, Blatter received 186 of the 203 votes that were cast in a landslide victory.
While FIFA wants the elections to go on as planned, many officials across the world are questioning whether it should be delayed in the midst of the current fallout. English FA chairman Greg Dyke has said that should the election take place, England will be voting for Prince Ali.
We should stress this morning’s developments are very serious for FIFA and its current leadership.
As one of the associations who nominated Prince Ali it will not surprise you to learn that if the election for president goes ahead The FA will be voting for him. However, there must be a question mark over whether the election should take place in these circumstances.
Clearly things are changing very quickly and our delegation to the FIFA congress in Zurich, which I am leading, will discuss the position and what we should do about it with our colleagues in UEFA when we meet tomorrow morning.”
FIFA spokesman Walter de Gregorio said in a press conference this morning that the presidential voting would take place Friday, and also ruled out the possibility of a re-vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which were awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively.
The Swiss government opened up an investigation into the allocation of those two World Cups following the arrests of officials following an investigation by the FBI. Sepp Blatter has yet to make a comment on the ongoing scandal.
As this dramatic story unfolds in Switzerland, ProSoccerTalk will keep you updated throughout the day.