After the surprise announcement on Tuesday, the race to replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA Boss has officially begun. The long-time president has resigned in the midst of a massive corruption scandal that has already taken out several high-ranking members of FIFA.
As Blatter himself admitted “FIFA needs a profound overhaul.” So, who’s going to make that happen? Who is going to replace Sepp? While Prince Ali Hussein of Jordan and Michel Platini seem to be the strongest candidates plenty of others will surely be interested in leading one of the most powerful organizations in all of sports.
Election will happen in December at the earliest, so there is plenty of time for other candidates to step up and throw their hat in the ring. Let’s take a look at the contenders:
The Top 5
Prince Ali bin al-Hussein
– Prince Ali bin Hussein of Jordan is the third son of King Hussein of Jordan. Prince Ali is the President of the Jordan Football Association. He is also the founder and president of the West Asian Football Federation
– Prince Ali lost to Blatter, 133 to 73, in last week’s election.
– Prince Ali ran on a platform of reform and said that he is ready to support anyone who wanted to bring about change at FIFA.
– His biggest challenge may be his perceived ties to Europe, but also a potential challenger from Asia’s bloc of Persian Gulf states, especially if they fear a move to strip Qatar of the 2022 World Cup.
– Platini, a former world player of the year, is the favorite to succeed Blatter.
– He has been a Blatter ally at time and also his most prominent critic at others. However, Platini had long declined to run for the presidency.
– He is chief of Europe’s governing body UEFA and member of FIFA’s executive committee.
– He will be supported by the game’s financial power base in Europe.
– The Brazilian soccer legend is considering running for the FIFA presidency.
– The 62-year-old, who is currently the coach of Indian club Goa, wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday that he saw no reason not to consider becoming a candidate.
– Zico, who acted as Brazil’s sports minister in the early 1990s, played for Brazil in three World Cups and is considered the greatest player of Brazil’s most popular club, Flamengo.
– However, he is not likely to be considered a major player in the elections right away.
– Gill is a former Manchester United chief executive.
– Gill, who was to take his seat on the executive committee last week, had said he would resign if Blatter did not.
– However, the bloc of support that kept Blatter in office may unite around someone — anyone — who will not put Europe’s interests above theirs.
– He being an Englishman may hurt his chances. Currently, an englishmen might be the only one less popular than an American at FIFA right now.
– The former Portugal, Real Madrid and Barcelona star entered the race against Blatter but withdrew last month and threw his support behind Prince Ali.
– He is new to FIFA politics but has a lot of respect due to his record as a player.
– He is the head of U.S. Soccer and at this time the least likely person to replace Blatter.
– Anti-Americanism runs high in world sports generally, and perhaps nowhere higher than inside FIFA.
– Many member countries — including Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin — viewed the Department of Justice investigation as an unwelcome intrusion by American officials into a sovereign body, and they are surely not going to change their view now.
– Nsekera is first woman elected to FIFA’s executive committee.
– She has been a member of the International Olympic Committee since 2009 and was the president of Burundi’s soccer federation from 2004 to 2013.
— Being a black woman and an African, she represents two interesting constituencies that might be due a turn running the game.