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No outright winner in first round of Fifa president vote

Fifa candidates (l-r): Prince Ali Bin Hussein, Jerome Champagne, Gianni Infantino, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa. Credit: Reuters

There was no outright winner in the first round of the Fifa presidential election.

Needing a two-thirds majority to be elected - or 138 votes - Gianni Infantino came closest with 88 votes.

Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa came a close second, with 85 votes.

Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein received 27 votes, while Jerome Champagne only got seven.

There will now be a second ballot, in which candidates need to obtain half the votes to be elected president.

Tokyo Sexwale pulls out of Fifa presidential election

Tokyo Sexwale made the announcement in his speech to the Fifa Congress. Credit: Reuters

Fifa presidential candidate Tokyo Sexwale has pulled out of the election before the first round of voting.

Mr Sexwale, a South African anti-apartheid activist, made the announcement in his speech to the Fifa Congress.

"I have got a surprise for you," he said. "My campaign ends today and I suspend my participation. With only four people, it is your problem now."


Candidates make final pitches for Fifa presidency

Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa is one of the frontrunners. Credit: Reuters

Fifa presidential candidate Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa has told members his record "speaks for itself".

Speaking ahead of the vote at the Fifa Congress, Sheikh Salman, one of the favourites for the presidency, said: "Everyone knows me around Fifa as a president of a confederation, a vice-president of Fifa. My track record speaks for itself."

He added: "Trying to close the gap between the smaller countries and bigger ones is vital and its a priority for us to help the smaller nations."

Gianni Infantino told the gathering: "Destiny, which brought me to start the journey, an exciting journey, a fantastic journey. Five months ago I was not thinking of being a candidate but many things have happened."

Fellow contender Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein said "football has thrived but Fifa has floundered", adding: "I am the only candidate who has consistently demonstrated a real commitment to a new style of leadership"

Jerome Champagne bemoaned the fact that no debate took place between the candidates - something he asked for.

Fifa Congress passes reforms to help repair reputation

Of the 201 members who voted, 179 backed the changes.

Reforms designed to repair Fifa's reputation and prevent future misdemeanours have been passed by Congress members.

The reforms include the Fifa president and council members serving a maximum of three four-year terms.

Issues of governance, accountability, transparency and diversity are covered in the reforms.

Of the 201 members who voted, 179 (89%) backed the changes.

Acting Fifa president Issa Hayatou said: "The hard work of restoring trust and improving how we work begins now.”


Fifa reduce bans for Blatter and Platini by two years

Blatter and Platini will only serve six year bans. Credit: PA

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have had their bans from all football-related activity reduced from eight years to six years, world governing body Fifa has announced.

A statement on Fifa's website read:

The Appeal Committee determined that some strong mitigating factors for Mr Platini and Mr Blatter were not taken into account when establishing the sanction.

In this sense, amongst others, the Appeal Committee considered that Mr Platini’s and Mr Blatter’s activities and the services they had rendered to Fifa, Uefa and football in general over the years should deserve appropriate recognition as a mitigating factor.

– Fifa statement

Blatter intends to take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and Platini is expected to follow.

Blatter said in a statement through his spokesman: "I am very disappointed by the appeal committee of Fifa and I will take it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne."

Prince Ali has Fifa vote delay request rejected

Prince Ali wanted a suspension to the vote. Credit: PA

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein has had his request to postpone Friday's Fifa presidential election dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, he has announced.

Voters reportedly documented how they had voted in last May's presidential election, which Sepp Blatter won ahead of Prince Ali before resigning days later, prompting this week's extraordinary congress and Friday's presidential vote at Hallenstadion, Zurich.

Fifa had dismissed Prince Ali's plea to use the transparent polling booths and the Jordanian took the case to CAS in an expedited process, the result of which was announced on Wednesday evening.

Blatter to release book about time as Fifa President

Sepp Blatter, the dethroned Fifa president, is preparing to publish a personal account of his near 18 years at the head of football's world governing body.

The book will be called 'Sepp Blatter: Mission Football'. Credit: PA

Swiss firm Werd and Weber Verlag is to release the book titled 'Sepp Blatter: Mission Football', written by his official spokesman, Thomas Renggli.

The publicity blurb says Blatter "repeatedly had to put up with harsh reviews and prejudices" and details how the 79-year-old "learned to deal with the hostility" during his lengthy tenure as FIFA president, which came to a swift end last June.

A spokesperson for the publishers told Press Association Sport: "It's his very own opinion on his time at FIFA.

"It's a very personal book, not judicially edited or sanitised at all."

The book is scheduled to be published in Blatter's native Switzerland in April, not in February as detailed on the publisher's website, and an English language version is due to be published in June. It will cost 39 Swiss francs (almost £28).

It is anticipated Blatter and Michel Platini, who was widely expected to succeed the Swiss as FIFA president, will this week learn the results of their appeals against their respective eight-year suspensions from all football-related activity.

Prince Ali calls for Fifa election suspension

Prince Ali is running for Fifa presidency. Credit: PA

Lawyers representing Prince Ali Bin Hussein of Jordan have called on the Court of Arbitration for Sport to suspend the Fifa presidential elections.

Prince Ali has previously issued concerns over voting arrangements, but had his idea for transparent voting booths rejected by Fifa's election committee.

We have requested Fifa to set out the conditions of a fair electoral process.

Instead of agreeing upon HRH Prince Ali ‘offer make available to the Fifa the transparent voting booths, we do note that Fifa will simply request voters “to leave their mobile while going to vote”.

This request is not sufficient. Fifa remains silent upon the measures to enforce it and sanctions associated with it. Prince Ali has naturally brought to the matter to CAS on Monday the 22nd.

FIFA has objected to our demand for expedited hearing in order for an award to be delivered before February 26th.

This behavior bears no rational other than denying any right to a fair and transparent voting process.

As a consequence, we are now seeking provisional measures before CAS to suspend the coming election on Friday 26th of February

– Statement from Prince Ali's lawyers
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