Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 3rd 2015 Contents A50
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, February 3, 2015
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GENEVA---Three men remain in
contention to challenge Sepp Blat-
ter for the FIFA presidency.
FIFA s election oversight panel
confirmed yesterday that Blatter and
three rivals---Prince Ali bin al-Hus-
sein of Jordan, Michael van Praag
of the Netherlands and former Por-
tugal great Luis Figo---are now being
vetted to become formal candidates
after the close of nominations.
A potential fifth contender, former
FIFA official Jerome Champagne,
failed to secure the required five
nominations. He said only three of
FIFA s 209 member federations
nominated him by last Thursday s
The four contenders will now
undergo integrity checks by FIFA s
ethics committee, and have their
nomination papers scrutinised by
the oversight panel.
The election panel expects to "for-
mally admit and declare the candi-
dates who are eligible for the office
of FIFA President" in about two
weeks. The election will be held May
29 at FIFA s congress in Zurich.
Blatter, who will turn 79 before
election day, is seeking a fifth term
in office to extend his 17-year reign.
The veteran Swiss official, who
has worked for FIFA since 1975, is
strongly favored to win. UEFA, which
has 53 voting members, is the only
one among six continental bodies
actively opposing Blatter.
The campaign kicks off largely as
Blatter vs. European interests.
Prince Ali and Figo have been
encouraged to run by UEFA and its
president, Michel Platini, while Van
Praag is a member of UEFA s exec-
Champagne criticized Platini, who
decided last August not to run
against former mentor Blatter.
"The script of the next few weeks
and months calls for proxy candi-
dates to wage the battles that others
did not have the courage to fight,"
said Champagne, whose departure
as FIFA international relations direc-
tor in 2010 was forced in part by
Of the four contenders, only Van
Praag has so far set out specific ideas.
The 67-year-old Dutch federation
president has called for expanding
the 32-team World Cup to include
more non-European teams, and has
promised to serve just a single four-
year term to modernise FIFA.
Van Praag has asked Blatter to
step aside and has offered him an
advisory role, including running a
charitable foundation to give less
privileged children opportunities in
Dutch great Johan Cruyff on
Monday described former Ajax pres-
ZURICH---FIFA s rule makers could decide
this month to let teams use a fourth sub-
stitute in extra time.
The idea could take effect in July if the
proposal is passed at a meeting of the Inter-
national Football Association Board, known
as IFAB, in Northern Ireland on February
28. Designed to help teams cope with tired
and injured players in the extra 30 minutes
of play, the plan has been supported by
World Cup-winning Germany coach Joachim
It s the most high-profile decision set to
be taken by IFAB, which will also begin dis-
cussions about the potential use of video
replays to aid refereeing discussions. FIFA
president Sepp Blatter surprised IFAB mem-
bers in Brazil when he launched that idea
last June at the governing body s congress
in Sao Paulo.
Other items of discussion included on the
agenda released Monday includes whether
to relax a "triple punishment" rule where a
defender can make a challenge that results
in a penalty kick, a red card and suspension.
A proposal by the U.S. Soccer Federation
could change the way stoppage time is cal-
culated, by giving the fourth officials their
own match clock to advise referees and give
a more accurate estimate.
Other ongoing talks and trials include "sin
bins" in youth football to sideline players
for several minutes as a replacement for
some red-card offenses.
IFAB includes delegates from the four
British football associations and FIFA. Since
last year, it takes advice from panels of tech-
nical and football experts selected from across
the world. (AP)
ident Van Praag as "somebody you
can count on."
In his column Monday in top-
selling Dutch daily De Telegraaf,
Cruyff wrote he is watching the
FIFA presidential campaign "from
the sidelines," but "if Van Praag asks
for my support, he ll get it."
Four years ago, Blatter suggested
Cruyff join a proposed council of
FIFA advisers alongside Henry
Kissinger and Placido Domingo. The
idea was dropped.
Prince Ali, the FIFA vice president
for Asia, is uncertain of widespread
support in his home region. The
Asian Football Confederation has
long stated its support for Blatter.
The prince is scheduled to host
a campaign launch in London on
4 in race for presidency
Panel to decide on
4th sub in extra time
Sepp Blatter, president of
FIFA, left, is greeted by
FIFA vice president,
Jordan's Prince Ali Bin al-
Hussein, right, prior to their
meeting on the first day of
Blatter's regional tour to
Jordan, the Palestinian
territories and Israel, in
Amman, Jordan, last year.
Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan
will stand for election in a
bid to oust Sepp Blatter as
leader of football's scandal-
hit world governing body.
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