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SOLID SUPPORT

Football
Thu, 25 Feb 2016


SHAIKH SALMAN BIN EBRAHIM AL KHALIFA

* Born in Bahrain on November 2, 1965 and a member of the Bahraini Royal family. According to bookmakers he is the front-runner in the race to become Fifa president.

* Graduated from the University of Bahrain in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and History. He also studied accountancy in the UK.

* Although he never played the game at any elevated level, he rose to prominence as an administrator in Bahraini football and became vice-president of the Bahrain FA in 1998 and president in 2002. He was subsequently elected president of the Asian Football Confederation in 2013 and became a member of the Fifa Executive Committee.

* He immediately made changes to the AFC constitution which in effect meant that Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan lost his seat as one of Asia’s representatives on the Fifa Executive Committee.

* He has vehemently denied involvement in any wrongdoing during the unrest in Bahrain in 2011, continually denying the allegations throughout his campaign, claiming “these are false, nasty lies, repeated again and again. Do you think that we needed a committee to identify international Bahraini footballers?”

* In January he signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the African confederation which pledged to support his candidacy, even though South African candidate Tokyo Sexwale is also running for the office.

 

* Key points of Shakh Salman’s election manifesto:

 

l In line with the reform proposals, he has also advocated splitting Fifa  into two at the governing level, with a financial/commercial department to handle the business side of the organisation and a football department to oversee football development and the organisation of the World Cup and all of Fifa’s other competitions.

l If elected he says he will take a non-executive stance as president, and have a more ambassadorial role, not wanting to “micro-manage” the body, in line with the proposed reforms.

l He has also declared that he won’t be taking any salary if he becomes the president.


GIANNI INFANTINO

* Born in Brig, Switzerland on March 23, 1970.

* Studied law at the University of Friburg in Switzerland. Speaks Italian, English, French, German and Spanish.

* Before joining Uefa, he worked as an advisor to football bodies in Spain, Italy and Switzerland, then as Secretary General of the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) at the University of Neuchatel.

* Became Uefa’s general secretary in October 2009, and right-hand man to president Michel Platini who in December was banned for eight years by Fifa’s ethics committee.

* Has also overseen an increase from 16 to 24 teams in the European championship, starting with Euro 2016 in France. Another innovation has been the League of Nations competition for national teams which critics say is bafflingly complex.

* His slick, corporate persona marks him out from the other candidates. He would be the first senior Uefa official to take high office at Fifa since the European governing body was founded in 1954.

 

* Key points of his Fifa election manifesto:

* The most controversial proposal is to increase the 32-team World Cup to 40 teams. Infantino said he would also encourage the idea of co-hosting World Cup tournaments between two or more countries in the same region.

l He says he wants to distribute $5-million every four years to each of Fifa’s 209 member associations for football development and a further $40 million to each of the continental confederations.

* An idea which Shaikh Salman says will make Fifa bankrupt.

Prince ali bin AL hussein

* Born in Amman on December 23, 1975, he is the third son of the late King Hussein of Jordan. His mother Queen Alia died in a helicopter crash in February 1977 when he was 14 months old.

* Stood against Sepp Blatter in the Fifa election in May but, despite backing from Europe and other countries, was beaten 133-73 votes in the first round. Although that did not give Blatter the winning margin he needed, Ali conceded defeat before a second round was held.

* He was educated in Jordan, the US and Britain and holds the rank of Major General in the Jordanian Armed Forces.

* He became president of the Jordan Football Association in 1999 and a year later, he founded the West Asian Football Federation (WAFF).

* He successfully campaigned to lift the ban on female Islamic players wearing headscarves in competitions.

 

* Key points of his manifesto:

 

*Supports an expanded World Cup but has not specified how many extra slots he would like to see in the finals. Guarantees that no confederation would lose any slots they now have.

*Would increase the grants Fifa gives to member associations from $250,000 to $1 million every year .

*Wants to “turn the pyramid upside down” giving more power to “the national associations, players, coaches, officials, fans and sponsors.”

JEROME CHAMPAGNE

* Born in Paris on June 15, 1958

* The 57-year-old Frenchman held senior positions at Fifa before leaving the organisation in 2010.

* Completed his education in 1981 after gaining degrees at the Institute of Political Sciences of Paris and the Institute of Oriental Languages.

* Joined France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1983 and during his career as a diplomat served in Muscat, Havana, Paris, Los Angeles and Brasilia.

* Left the French diplomatic service in 1997 and began working for the French World Cup Organising Committee as diplomatic adviser and Chief of Protocol under Platini.

* Has always been closely linked with the now-banned Blatter and has never criticised him publicly, despite calling for huge reforms at Fifa.

* He has also worked on gaining recognition for Kosovo, which means Fifa  members can play friendlies against Kosovo, although it is not yet a member of Fifa.

 

* Key points of his manifesto:

 

* Is against any expansion of the World Cup to 40 teams.

*He would re-organise Fifa’s current grants system which sees the richest FAs getting the same grants as the poorest. Most of the money, he says, would go to the poorest members.

 

TOKYO SEXWALE

* Born in Soweto on March 5, 1953, he grew up amid the turmoil of the township struggle against the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

* Has run something of a lacklustre campaign and pointedly, has not been backed by his own African confederation, with CAF making public in January its support of Asian president Shaikh Salman.

* Sexwale was a student leader who fled into exile and joined the armed resistance of the African National Congress, receiving training in Russia.

* He was captured trying to get back into South Africa and sentenced to 18 years on terrorism offences, sent to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was also incarcerated.

* He spent 13 years in prison and after his release was elected to the ANC’s executive committee and became a regional chairman.

* Served as a member of the board of the South Africa 2010 World Cup Organising Committee after which Blatter invited him to serve on various Fifa committees.

 

&Key notes of his manifesto:

 

* It does not tackle anti-corruption issues but rather seeks more places at future World Cups for Africa and allow national FAs to make more revenue by allowing sponsorship on national team jerseys.

* He also promises a personal touch if elected.

* He would re-organise Fifa’s current grants system which sees the richest FAs getting the same grants as the poorest. Most of the money, he says, would go to the poorest members.