FIFA: Five candidates approved, one denied for corruption, one in limbo

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There will be either five or six candidates standing in February’s election of a successor for Sepp Blatter as FIFA president.

A quintet of candidates have passed muster, a sixth was denied and Michel Platini will have to wait to see whether he’ll get the opportunity to run after his suspension is over.

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Musa Bility of Liberia is the man who will not get the chance to run, and it seems FIFA isn’t willing to risk any bad publicity from its candidates. In 2013, Bility used confidential documents in an attempt to prove current acting president Issa Hayatou as corrupt.

From the BBC:

“I reject this and think it’s unfortunate,” he added. “My decision to fight CAF at the time was a genuine attempt to change African football and prevent rules from being arbitrarily violated.

“I am awaiting the review by my team of lawyers to determine my next course of action.”

Unless there’s something more to it — isn’t there always with FIFA? — that feels a tad harsh on Bility. Confidential is confidential, I guess.

Meanwhile, the suspended Platini could get to run against the remaining five candidates if his suspension is lifted before the election, though it’s debatable whether FIFA would let him get that far given the Bility ruling.

Still running are Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, president of the Jordan Football Association, former FIFA exec Jerome Champagne, UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino, Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, and South African government minister Tokyo Sexwale. Infantino has said he won’t run if Platini makes the post-suspension grade.