Friday will mark one of the most historical days in football history. While immorality surrounds FIFA following the corruption charges, there will be an election held to replace Sepp Blatter as president of this important organization.
FIFA stands for The Federation Internationale de Football Association. It was founded in France on May 21, 1904 to oversee the international football competitions between nations in Europe. The founding countries included: France, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Since 1904, FIFA has grown to become the most influential football association in the world; the FIFA World Cup is the most watched and followed sporting event in today.
Due to the increased importance of FIFA in the soccer world, the upcoming election this week will be a pivotal moment for the development of football in the future. Sept Blatter’s successor will be the first new president in 18 years. This new president will be challenged with reviving an association that’s reputation has been dragged through the mud. Bribery and scandal have infected this institution to its core. It is up to one remarkable candidate to ensure a positive future for football.
(Refer to Rachael Hume’s post for more details about these candidates)
Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa
Prince Ali bin al-Hussein
How the Voting Process Works:
World football officials will gather on Friday morning in an entertainment venue in Zurich, Switzerland named Hallenstadion. In addition to voting for a new president, the officials will be voting on a number of other issues as well. The way the voting process works is that each of the 207 nations eligible will secretly submit their vote. A candidate is victorious if he gains two thirds of the votes in the first round, or a majority of the votes in a later round. The interesting part about FIFA voting is that candidates are supported by different global confederations. Many of these confederations collectively choose a candidate to back. Therefore, voting breaks down into lobbying the confederations as a whole rather than individually persuading each country.
The six football confederations include:
The Asian Football Confederation — 46 nations
The Confederation of African Football — 54 nations
CONCACAF (North and Central America and the Caribbean) — 35 nations
UEFA (Europe) — 53 nations
CONMEBOL (South America) — 10 nations
Oceana — 11 nations
After doing some research, it seems clear that two candidates have emerged as the front-runners. Sheikh Salman has received public support from the Asian and African Confederations, while Gianni Infantino has received public support from the European and South American Confederations. There has also been speculation about CONCACAF leaning towards backing Infantino as well. With this information in mind, it seems that each of these two candidates will have around 100 votes. The vote will come down to which individual countries decide to sway from their confederations and who the Oceania countries will vote for.
I predict that Gianni Infantino will win the FIFA presidential election. There have been rumblings in the news recently about concerns surrounding Sheikh Salman’s background and ties with Sepp Blatter. I believe that any doubt about Sheikh Salman’s character will push the deciding countries to pick Infantino in the end. We will have to wait and see if my prediction is correct.
“FIFA Presidential Election: The Key Facts in Race to Replace Sepp Blatter.” ESPNFC.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
“History of FIFA – Foundation – FIFA.com.” FIFA.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
Phipps, Claire. “Fifa Presidential Election: When Is the Vote and How Does It Work?” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 29 May 2015. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.