Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Nakhid missed out as Fifa confirms presidential candidates

Fifa has confirmed that seven candidatures have been received for the presidency of world football’s governing body, with former Trinidad and Tobago international midfielder David Nakhid the omission from the officials who were thought to have entered applications by Monday’s deadline.

Fifa said that its member associations have put forward Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, Musa Bility, Jérôme Champagne, Gianni Infantino, Michel Platini, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Tokyo Sexwale. The presidential election to succeed Sepp Blatter at the helm of world football is scheduled to be held at the Extraordinary Fifa Congress in Zurich on February 26.

The 51-year-old Nakhid is based in Lebanon, where he runs a football academy, and first announced his intention to run for the Fifa presidency in August. The holder of 35 caps for Trinidad and Tobago between 1992 and 2005, Nakhid last week said he had successfully secured the five nominations from national associations needed to become a candidate and had submitted his paperwork to Fifa’s election committee. He added that he had won support in the Caribbean and from other confederations but his backers did not want him to disclose their identity.

Uefa president Platini is currently serving a 90-day suspension handed out as he is investigated by Fifa’s Ethics Committee, and Uefa’s decision on Monday to put forward general secretary Infantino gives Europe another strong candidate in the event that Platini is barred from the election process.

Fifa said today that Platini’s candidature will not be processed by the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee as long as the ban is valid and in force. Should such a ban be lifted or expire before the Fifa presidential election, the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee would decide, depending on the respective exact point in time, on how to proceed with the candidature concerned.


Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Chief Segun Odegbami has cried foul over his failed bid to stand in February’s FIFA presidential election. The 63-year-old former international was unable to win the required backing of five member associations and told The PUNCH that the help offered by the Nigeria Football Federation came too late to be meaningful.

He said, “The NFF only sent their nomination letter to FIFA on Monday afternoon. How was I to get four other countries to back me at the last minute when I am not a magician? I sent my letter in (to the NFF) nearly two months ago and I was the only candidate from Nigeria because Orji Uzoh Kalu never submitted any bid. Why was there this kind of delay?

“I was not running with any other person, despite the grand effort made everywhere to malign me by those who just wanted me to fail. Somebody somewhere made sure I was blocked.”

Odegbami said that NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, was at the Confederation of African Football headquarters in Cairo on Monday where he tried in vain to secure more support for him. He needed endorsement from four other federations.

“My intention was to get them from a few neighbouring countries as soon as I got the nomination through. By the time I was officially informed, the African FA presidents had all assembled in Cairo, Egypt for their scheduled Caf meeting.

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