Michel Platini Fail Integrity Check, Excluded From FIFA Presidential Candidates

Uefa president Michel Platini and Liberian Football Association (LFA) president Musa Bility have today (Thursday) been excluded from the list of candidates to become the next leader of Fifa, world football’s governing body.

In a statement released this morning, Fifa’s Ad-hoc Electoral Committee said it had admitted and declared five candidates eligible to stand for election to the office of Fifa president. They are: 

  • Former Fifa vice-president Prince Ali bin al-Hussein,
  • The Jordan federation head; Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa;

  • Former Fifa official Jerome Champagne;

  • Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino

  • South African businessman and former political prisoner Tokyo Sexwale.

The updated list of candidates has been released following integrity checks performed by the investigatory chamber of the Fifa Ethics Committee. This two-step process involved first creating detailed reports of risk-relevant information relating to each candidate.

Fifa said the integrity check included a review of corporate records, litigation cases, bankruptcy proceedings, potential regulatory actions taken against the candidate and a review of media reports concerning ‘potential red flags’ such as fraudulent behaviour, match manipulation and human rights violations. Each candidate was then asked to comment on the content of the detailed report produced.

The final integrity check reports and the comments submitted by the candidates were provided to the members of the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee and evaluated to determine whether each of the candidates fulfilled the requirements for the presidency as outlined in the Fifa Statutes and Regulations.
The Ad-hoc Electoral Committee said it did not admit the candidature of Bility in view of the content of the integrity check report relating to him. However, it did not comment further on the reasons behind declining his candidacy, citing protection of “personality rights”.
Platini’s name has been excluded amid the provisional suspension handed out to the head of European football’s governing body by Fifa. The Frenchman risks a lengthy ban once an ethics probe into a 2011 payment from Fifa has been completed. This would make him ineligible for the February 26 election to replace suspended Fifa president Sepp Blatter. Platini’s integrity check for his Fifa presidential candidacy will not be conducted until this process is completed.
Platini is currently serving a 90-day suspension handed out as he is investigated by Fifa’s Ethics Committee, and Uefa’s decision to put forward general secretary Infantino gives Europe another strong candidate in the event that Platini is barred from the election process.
The decisions of the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee on the eligibility of candidates may be appealed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.

Culled from: Sports Business International's NewsWire

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