FIFA presidential candidate to visit Russia

Moscow, Jan 28 (IANS) FIFA presidential candidate Gianni Infantino plans to visit Russia as part of his election campaign, a spokesman for European football’s governing body (UEFA) has said.

Infantino is one of the five candidates running for the presidential post in the world football’s governing body (FIFA), reports Tass.

The officially registered candidates running for the post of the FIFA president in the February 26 election are: UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino, FIFA vice president Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, South Africa’s ex-minister Tokyo Sexwale, former FIFA secretary general Jerome Champagne and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.

A chain of corruption scandals rocked FIFA throughout last year.

On May 27, a day before the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich, seven high-ranking FIFA officials were arrested in Switzerland on charges of bribery, money laundering and corruption.

In the most recent development of events, the previously suspended FIFA and UEFA presidents, Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini respectively, were both banned on December 21 for eight years by FIFA’s Ethics Committee from all international football activities over allegedly illegal financial transfer from FIFA to Platini.

Blatter, 79, was re-elected for his fifth consecutive four-year presidential term on May 29, when his only rival Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan pulled out after the first round of vote.

However, addressing a news conference in Zurich on June 2, Blatter said he decided to lay down his mandate.

FIFA announced in July that the election of the new president would be held on February 26, 2016.

In his election campaign manifesto, which Infantino published last week, he proposed that more than two countries should be having the privilege of hosting the FIFA World Cup at one time.

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