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China Daily Website  

World soccer rocked by suspension of Blatter and Platini

Updated: 2015-10-09 10:31


If Platini is not able to overturn his ban and join the election race, it would leave Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan as the clear favourite, unless other candidates now emerge to take advantage of the Frenchman's troubles.

South African Tokyo Sexwale, who was imprisoned with Nelson Mandela during the apartheid era and later became a politician and businessman, has said he is considering running.

Last week two sources told Reuters that Bahraini Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, president of the Asian Football Confederation, would consider standing if Platini was ruled out.

The president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, said FIFA should consider an external candidate to succeed Blatter.

"They must do two things immediately: they must accelerate and deepen the reform process in order to comply with accountability, transparency and all the principles of good governance," he said in his strongest statement yet on the crisis.

"They should also be open for a credible external presidential candidate of high integrity, to accomplish the necessary reforms and bring back stability and credibility to FIFA," he added.

In further disciplinary moves, FIFA also handed out a 90-day suspension to Secretary General Jerome Valcke, who had already been sent on leave after being accused of being part of a scheme to sell 2014 World Cup tickets at a marked-up price. He denies any wrongdoing.

South Korea's former FIFA Vice-President Chung Mong-joon was banned from the game for six years, a decision which will almost certainly end his already slim electoral hopes.

Swiss and US authorities are both investigating corruption in world soccer, in long-running probes that have so far led to the indictment of 14 soccer officials and sports marketing executives. Among other things, they are examining the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.

All those banned on Thursday can turn to FIFA's Appeals Committee to try to overturn the bans, but would remain suspended throughout any appeals process.

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